Residents of Parfaite Harmonie, West Bank Demerara, say that the continuous patching of their Main Access Road is insufficient and are calling for more comprehensive repairs to be done on the thoroughfare.
Stabroek News has reported extensively over the last year, on the state of the road, which was commissioned in 2015. Despite being constantly patched and repaired by the two contractors – BK International and Gaico Construction and General Services – the road soon returns to the previous deplorable condition within weeks.
A visit to the 3.5 km stretch of road on Tuesday revealed several potholes ranging in size and depth. Various sections were waterlogged around the shoulder, and even in the middle of the road, which forced drivers to either navigate along the shoulders to avoid the potholes and water, or in the adjacent lane.
Stabroek News had reported last month about the continuous degradation of the road and Tuesday’s visit revealed that it has deteriorated further.
“This road is under four years old and they patch the road three different times since last year and the patching isn’t working. I would be surprised if they don’t come back here in August or September to fill the same holes that they fixing. I think they need to have a new one or have the current one resurfaced and the surface has to be thick. The rain falls and some places are like ponds because the road is like a wave and it wasn’t designed in a manner for the water to run off. The contractor did not do a good job at making the road where it’s supposed to go,” a resident of Parfaite Harmonie, Courtney Jacobs, who is a re-migrant and has been living in the area for almost two years, said on Tuesday.
Jacobs explained that he uses the road more than six times a week, and sometimes several times in a day and it is usually a hindrance to his travel.
“Let’s say I’m going out to the main road, my side of driving would be the left hand side but you often find yourself going on the right hand in another man’s lane because all of us in the same mess. Some would give you a break and some would come straight and next thing you know you have to ride into the holes, and it is dragging your vehicle and that’s what’s affecting me,” Jacobs explained.
He further stated that he is of the opinion that the road regularly breaks apart because the quality of asphalt which was used is poor and the foundation “is not that good”. He noted that where potholes appear the thickness of the asphalt is “a little more thicker than an inch, and if it’s a highway you need to go more than three inches.”
Other drivers also echoed Jacobs’ sentiments and said that they also believe that there is a need for more extensive work to be done on the work and not simple “patchwork.”
When Stabroek News visited on Tuesday a road building crew and a fleet of vehicles from the Ministry of Communities were present at the western end of the road doing repair work.
The road was designed to accommodate two lanes of traffic and links the housing scheme to the West Demerara Public Road. Currently it is the main access road to Parfaite Harmonie since the majority of vehicles seeking to enter the community use this road. A number of heavy-duty vehicles carrying sand, stone and other loads also use the road and contribute to the constantly deteriorating condition.
Herds of cattle and other livestock are often seen traversing the road, and drivers and residents have said that this also contributes to the frequent potholes which develop.