Contractor defends structural integrity of Parfaite Harmonie access road

-blames dumping of overburden for formation of potholes

Komal Singh, Chief Executive Officer of Gaico Construction and General Services, says the dumping of overburden from the canals onto the side of the La Parfaite Harmonie access road is a major contributor to the road developing faults.

The access road, which is a little over four years old, is riddled with potholes and is proving a challenge for drivers to navigate.

Stabroek News was told by an official from the Ministry of Communities that the road falls under the Department of Housing and the Central Housing and Planning Authority by extension, and recent works were done by Gaico, which had originally built the road along with BK International.

When contacted, Singh confirmed that simple “patchwork” was done on the road at a cost of less than $100,000 and was in keeping with the 10-year warranty that covers the road.

“Any road we construct from scratch, we always have a 10-year warranty. It’s a policy that the company has,” Singh explained.

While there have been questions about the road’s structural integrity, Singh also said that those claims are false and the road is “a very solid road.”

“That is a very solid road given the load that it takes on every day. When a road has structural problems you will find it sinking and people shouldn’t be using those words loosely. If potholes develop then it can be for many reasons, like oil on the road. Oil and asphalt don’t mix and the oil softens the asphalt road and it becomes vulnerable to potholes. That is why at the end of the day, you can’t overlook every single aspect when it comes to potholes,” Singh explained, while emphasising that the access road has no structural issues.

He explained that the road was built between rice farms and during the rainy season mud is often left on the road by tractors and other vehicles and animals, which all contribute to the formation of potholes. Singh added that overburden from the canals that have been cleaned are dumped at the side of the road and prevents water from draining off of the roadway.

“If the water is pooling on the edge, then it will get underneath. It’s very important that the road shoulders are kept clean,” he said.

The 3.5 km access road was commissioned in September, 2014 and had cost the then government some $604 million to construct. It was designed to accommodate two lanes of traffic and is linked to the housing scheme by a heavy-duty bridge.

Since the Bagotville Bridge is currently under construction, all heavy-duty vehicles are forced to use the access road, and as a result adds more load to the road and contributes to the formation of potholes.

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