Residents say pipeline project will disrupt their lives
Residents of Rockley New Road, Christ Church will meet tomorrow with officials from the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) and contractors of a pipeline project to voice their concerns about the disruption that the work will cause in their daily routines.
In a letter to the residents, Infra Inc., the company that has been sub-contracted by IFL Pipeline Inc. to construct a water transmission main, proposed that “preparatory work” would run from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. for approximately 10 weeks.
The company said vehicular traffic would be restricted during excavation of the trenches, which could be as deep as 1.5 metres and as long as 50 metres. It also noted that testing would be done in 100-metre sections.
Residents vented their frustration about the situation to their parliamentary representative Dr Maria Agard yesterday.
In the meeting with the Christ Church West MP, they said they needed to get clear information about the project.
Howaida Weel said all residents got from those involved in the project were “vague remarks and promises that I cannot trust or verify”.
Pointing out that the roads were narrow, she declared: “You will not trap us in a neighbourhood and think you are going to get away with it . . . I will use every resource I have until I die in battle or I win!”
The neighbours also expressed concern about the residents in a nearby senior citizens’ home, saying that cutting off vehicular traffic could cause devastating consequences.
However, in the letter sent to residents, the company stated that “during working hours and an emergency arises and access is required, we will immediately backfill the trenches with material which will be stockpiled on site”.
And while the company provided the names and cell numbers of three people to “coordinate the exercise”, the residents said they had not been able to get any answer, despite numerous calls.
Since they received the February 27 letter, they held one meeting on February 28 to air their grouses.
Jenny Codrington said she, like many other residents, worked from home and would sometimes have to leave multiple times during the hours outlined in the letter.
She too called for alternative accommodation, given the length of time the project was proposed to last.
Another resident, Lorna Rose, said while she understood that the work was developmental and she was prepared to make some sacrifices, she was not pleased with some of what the company was expecting of them.
“What they have not done is put sufficient investigation and planning into providing us with alternative access . . . One of the options is to lay a temporary road across Rockley Golf Course and the other is to open the road that runs between Rockley New Road and Golf Club Road. They have given us very vague reasons why they can’t do those and it seems that they are not prepared to do it. That is the most distressing issue about their performance,”
After listening to their complaints, Dr Agard promised to contact the company to iron out the issue, saying that she was willing to outline the residents’ concerns and solutions as well as hear from those responsible for the work.
The project, which is being carried out in association with the BWA, was initially sub-contracted to C.O. Williams Construction.
That company held a number of meetings with the residents last year prior to giving up the project.