Heavy rains blamed for road deterioration

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The government is blaming the recent heavy rainfall for the further erosion of the already dilapidated roads.
While residents have been rejoicing over the much needed rain, they have also been lamenting the conditions of the roads.
The country’s Agriculture Minister Dean Jonas yesterday said the downpour is what caused the problem, especially the huge potholes which have drivers crying out due to damage to their vehicles.
“Further, two major highways have been made worse by the downpours since they were being prepared for major repairs,” he told a Cabinet press briefing.
According to Jonas, the latest road erosion comes at the same time that the Minister of Public Works is saying that 400 miles of roads in Antigua are already in need of fixing. 
He said that materials washed off the land and into waterways can also be blamed for flooding in some areas.
But even before these pronouncements by the government, residents and even Prime Minister Gaston Browne have been complaining about the state of the country’s roads, saying it is frustrating.
Browne even threatened to take action against the Public Works Department if they fail to expedite repair works on some major roads.
There are serious concerns about the Sir George Walter Highway and Friars Hill Road which are both being expanded under the government’s highly touted Road Rehabilitation Project.
The inconvenience will end in late January, Jonas said, when all the work is expected to be completed.
Meanwhile, the government said that APUA is planting conduits for electricity wires, and manholes for transformers along Friars Hill Road in order to ensure no loss of electricity by businesses and homes along the highway when hurricanes strike in the future. 
The Minister also reported to Cabinet that the government’s hot mix plant can produce sufficient asphalt material for one mile of road daily, in an eight-hour shift.
Therefore, the order has gone out to operate the plant 24 hours daily, or for three shifts, so that the material required for road repair can be abundantly produced. 
The Minister further reported that $25 million of concrete roads have been constructed thus far, and that where concrete is necessary, such as in valleys and at low-lying places prone to flooding the roadways, will have this costly material applied. 

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