The Ministry of Public Works has promised to speedily repair a section of the Valley Road by Darkwood Beach that was damaged between late Wednesday evening and early yesterday morning.
A motorist informed OBSERVER media that she cannot recall seeing that portion of road damaged when she passed there from work around 8 p.m. on Wednesday but the damage was obvious when she drove past the area shortly after 11 a.m. on Thursday.
That portion of the road has intermittently been a cause of concern for road users for several years, particularly in times of stormy weather and high seas when the sea would breach the sea defence and merge with the salt pond on the opposite side of the road.
Although work has been done to reinforce the road from being breached by the sea that portion remains vulnerable to high waves and rough seas.
After two back to back storms last year, the road and seawall began to break away, and in March of this year, the wall collapsed and part of the road also broke away. Residents in the area had raised concern at the time about how the repairs would be done without encroaching on private property along that stretch, near the Tamarind Hills Development.
An analysis was done by engineers from the Ministry or Works and Housing and at that time, the then public relations officer, Shawn Thomas, had said repairs would have been done, but it would be part of the second road rehabilitation programme of the Project Implementation Management Unit (PIMU) which is still working on its first project on Friars Hill Road and Sir George Walter Highway.
When OBSERVER media personnel visited the area shortly before midday yesterday, we found various protective concrete columns that were placed over a year ago and about 30 feet of the seaward portion of the road had collapsed.
According to a press release from the Ministry of Works after the most recent road collapse, a team of government officials visited the site on Thursday to determine the extent of the damage.
The team was made up of Minister of Works Lennox Weston; Parliamentary Representative for the area Samantha Marshall; Permanent Secretary Clarence Pilgrim; Director of Works Lucine Hanley; Deputy Director of Works Aldin Crump; Head of Roads Craig Williams; Liaison Officer Ministry of Works Algen Isaacs; and Communications Officer Alciana Tittle.
The release called on “motorists to be extremely cautious when driving on the Darkwood Bridge”.
It also stated that Pilgrim said the Ministry is cognisant of the damage caused to the bridge and is working swiftly to rectify the situation.
“We have done a preliminary assessment and at this stage we are presently putting together a plan of action which will be unveiled in the next few days, until then we intend to put signage to caution drivers to be cautious when going around that particular side of the bridge,” Pilgrim stated.
He reiterated that motorists should look out and inform each other in an effort to minimise any possibility of accidents along that bridge.