Relief coming for South District residents

Relief will be on the way as early as tomorrow for the residents of South District, St Michael, following the collapse of a section of the road leading into their community over the weekend.

Chief Technical Officer Frank Thornhill gave the residents of that sub-urban district this assurance today following a tour of the area by senior officials of the Ministry of Transport and Works and former parliamentary representative for the area Senator Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo.

Here Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo joins with officials in a closer examination of some of the issues affecting South District residents.
Here Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo joins with officials in a closer examination of some of the issues affecting South District residents.

Speaking to members of the media, Thornhill said: “We will be deploying a team tomorrow. We will be bringing in an excavator to remove the rubble. We will also bring in boulders basically to rebuild the road and then the curbs will be reconstructed.”

Asked if there was a possibilty that caves exist beneath the road, the Chief Technical Officer said he would not be able to speak to that concern until the excavation work had
been completed.

Thornhill however said that reports had indicated that a quarry was previously located in the area. However, it was filled in and the road constructed on the surface.

Asked if geologists will be brought in to ensure that the land was stable, Thornhill said: “I do not think that at this time it is necessary to retain the services of a geologist to test the subsoil.”

However, Deputy Chief Technical Officer responsible for operations Philip Tudor said: “It will take approximately two to three weeks to complete the work depending on what we unearth when we start the excavation.

“Once we do the excavation and see what is under the surface we will be in a better position to make a further comment. However, at this time it is just a matter of excavating what is there, fill in the area with boulders and marl, fill and rebuild the road.”

Tudor said the collapse was the result of rainfall washing out the material that was placed under the surface. Therefore it was not anything that officials at the Ministry of Transport and Works could have foreseen.

Meanwhile, Dr Byer-Suckoo said she had spoken to residents who were not alarmed over the situation.

“They are familiar with the volume of water that runs on the road and they understand that the cave-in resulted from the water passing in the area. They are not concerned about cave-ins,” she said.

However, she indicated that she had been in contact with Minister of Transport and Works Michael Lashley early this morning.

She also gave residents the assurance that officials had been looking at the funds needed to effect the repairs and were also attempting to locate materials.

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