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The land the house is on is original land; below the road is all slipped fill.
The land the house is on is original land; below the road is all slipped fill.
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The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected]

About a month ago I started inspecting the section of road at Argyle that has now collapsed and it was very obvious that sooner or later that that was going to happen.

The photo above was  taken on Nov. 4, 2016 — before the final slip. It was then at a critical stage because the landslip was now right up against the road.

When the bypass road was built, they carved through a hill and filled the big chasm on the other side with the burden carved from the hill. The big chasm was made by seasonal water outpour from the hills over the centuries. The fill was not compacted and like the soil behind Mr Jack’s wall that collapsed, it acted like a sponge until the weight was so great it turned semi-fluid and simply flowed down the excavated face that the airport engineers had foolishly carved below it. So there was simply nothing to retain it; nothing to support or keep it in position.

Now they come with more nonsense about the ground consisting mainly of sand. There is no sand content whatsoever. They say it is slipping because of the sand, but that is just not true; it is slipping because of human error — and that is putting it kindly.

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If you remember, I told you some time before that the government never fully paid Messrs C.O. Williams, the road contractor for the Argyle bypass road and the company eventually left the country still being owed $20 million dollars. They hung around for more than a year waiting to get paid, and then left, allegedly owing some money to employees and NIS, telling the government if the government doesn’t pay them then they, in turn, are unable to settle with their employees and others. I did check last year with C.O. Williams Ltd. of Barbados and they confirmed by email that, at that time, they were still owed that money. So, I suppose if you believe in karma, the SVG government is now being punished for its failure to once again pay its debts.

The danger now is what may happen to the airport fuel farm, a 100 or so feet further down the road, which is also built on filled land. The northeast corner of the fuel farm compound is washing away and requires urgent attention. If the storage tanks should slip when full, the airport may exist no more and may be renamed Argyle Lunar Base — relocated on the moon.

I did notice that the runway on that day, four hours after the rain had stopped, had water rising through the runway and was puddled because the camber is not correct, or even there at all.

Uncompacted ground next to the runway in places is also a problem because the areas have become a big mud pie.
Uncompacted ground next to the runway in places is also a problem because the areas have become a big mud pie.

They say things have to get worse before they can get better. But not in SVG and in particular Argyle Airport where things are getting worse continuously, with nothing better on the horizon.

Peter Binose

The opinions presented in this content belong to the author and may not necessarily reflect the perspectives or editorial stance of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].

One reply on “Karma is visiting the ULP gov’t”

  1. Actually, our whole island is made up of sand in the form of pulverized volcanic rock although this does not excuse poor construction techniques.

    This an other observations about the airport, even if true, are rooted in a premise that I know you do not accept, namely, that the airport was constructed to be a viable project meant to lift us out of our crushing poverty. As you well know, it was built only to lift the ULP from one election victory to the next by crushing the opposition. Not true?

    So why would you or anyone else expect good workmanship or blame the poor workmanship on incompetence and mismanagement?

    No, incompetence and mismanagement were tolerated, even encourage, to delay the airport’s completion so that as many election wins could to take place merely on its snail’s paced construction.

    Or, are you now repudiating this hypothesis?

    Peter, you can’t have it both ways, my friend.

    Either the Comrade and those around him are pathetic losers who mean well in trying to construct the airport or they are brilliant strategists who have devised the most brilliant masterstroke in the history of Caribbean politics.

    So which one is it, my dear friend, Peter?

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