Several Bus drivers fear using the Marigot to Londonderry road near Douglas-Charles Airport, due to sea waves crossing the street. Parliamentary Representative of Wesley, Ezekiel Bazil says this is creating a risk to vehicles and residents, as the sea has been breaching the seawall in the area for quite some time, but it has worsened since the passage of Tropical Storm Erika. He says the situation has deteriorated even further over the past few days.
Bazil says “students have to move from Concord, Atkinson & Marigot, into the North-East Comprehensive School, but bus drivers are not passing through this risky area, and students sometimes get off the bus and walk across.” He added, “A bypass was placed but it is a headache for road users, and especially for the people of Wesley, Woodfordhill and Palm Tree areas … it is a nightmare.”
Bazil stated that in May 2015, the Minister of Public Works said monies were assigned to repair the wall, and to put armour at the back of the wall, however, “From May 2015 to January 2016” nothing has been done. “There has been no work from May 2015, although $5-million was reportedly set aside for that,” Bazil stated. “People are getting fed up, the situation is life threatening, and the sea salt is also damaging the people’s vehicles in the area, he said. “The sea water is coming over the wall with sand and stones, & it is damaging people’s vehicles; it is very risky.”
Bazil is calling on government to address the problem urgently. “Government needs to do what it said it was going to do; repair the damage to the wall, and ensure that serious protection is placed behind it, so that the sea would not continue to affect the area, to the extent that it is,” he said. In January 2015, bus drivers working that route stopped their services, due to that same problem.
Their action left students attending the North-East Comprehensive School stranded, and people commuting to work were affected. That same January 2015, Public Works Minister Ian Pinard said the first option to help solve the problem was construction of wave breakers behind the present seawall, or divert the road. He said the first option would cost $25-million. In February 2015, Minister Pinnard said he would receive final estimates that same week, to determine the actual costs. He assured all concerned that necessary documents were being prepared, and they would be taken to cabinet for a decision. Pinnard said “We are definitely committed to finding a solution”. However, nothing has been done since those promises were made.
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