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 news.iwitness@gmail.com

The pictures are of a portion of our new road. A finished portion, supposedly. The pictures start from the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital and ends just below Midway Butchers. A short portion. Short as in distance but not time as you can see from the project board.

It is preposterous, inexcusable, to be patching at this stage. And it is not to say that the patches are holding. They are not. Not days after being put down they are falling apart.

If that is what we are seeing now (the oldest new surface in the pictures is less than one year, the newest, weeks old), what would we be seeing a year from now?

A year from now when the contractors are gone, gone and the patching is left to Julian and his ministry (yea riiight), who, that, placed a boulder on the damaged Byrea Bridge, called it a warning sign and washed their hands of the duty. Spitefully and maliciously painted the boulder in the NDP yellow and left it there, as that, a warning sigh, for six years. And did the same, sans the malicious yellow, for a failing retaining wall on the Indian Bay beach? Yea, that is who is going to be patching up the “South Leeward Highway Rehabilitation and Upgrade: Kingstown to Layou,” after the contractors have left.

Vincentians are but sheep. That is our grass. Eat it and shut up.

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 news.iwitness@gmail.com.

3 replies on “With new S. Leeward Highway looking like this, what about a year from now?”

  1. My guess is that such damage to a road that is only a few months old at most is not because of poor construction (or poorer construction than usual or poorer construction than occurred 40 years ago) but overweight vehicles (mainly carrying huge loads of rock and stone from the quarries or trucks hauling heavy containers from the two ports), a practice that could be prohibited by the proper legislation regarding maximum weight based on the carrying capacity of roads, as is in place in all developed countries. But do we even have the available scales to weigh these fully-loaded trucks?

    Building much stronger roads is not the answer simply because we don’t have the money to pay the double in cost this would entail unless we doubled or tripled various vehicle and driver taxes and fees. How politically popular would that be?

    In short, the roads of yesteryear lasted much longer because there was far less traffic carrying much lighter loads.

    Ironically, more traffic and more loads leading to a much shorter road lifespan is a sign that we are a much richer country today than we were 40 years ago. It is also a sign that neither the law nor construction standards have kept up with this fact.

  2. You say, “Vincentians are but sheep. That is our grass. Eat it and shut up.”

    True enough but in a democracy, people get the government they deserve. Translation: Kingstown suits us and we suit Kingstown.

    Yes, I know it is easier for a person like me who spends most his time in a rich overseas country to see all the rot and neglect in Kingstown and elsewhere in St. Vincent as soon as I land at the shamefully decrepit Arnos Vale airport and that it is harder for ordinary people to see the increased decay and quickly damaged roads because it imperceptibly occurs one day at a time.

    Yes, this is a poor country with limited resources. Still, this is no excuse for a government in what is supposed to be a lower, middle income country — not a dirt poor country like Haiti or Bangladesh — from doing a lot more like cleaning the gutters, hot-patching the roads as soon as they are in the slightest disrepair, and minimally maintaining all public property including buildings, bridges, sidewalks, historical sites, tourist facilities, recreational areas, etc.

    The money is there to do more than is being done even if this doesn’t mean being able to build world-class highways and roads that will last for decades. The problem is that much of our scarce resources are being spent on the wrong things, namely, in areas where there is an expectation of maximum political gain (such as the Argyle airport, poor relief to able bodied persons, temporary work projects to party supporters, educational support to middle-class people, etc.).

    No one except penniless backpackers would soon want to come to our rundown country for a holiday.

    Indeed, my wife and I always say, well, next year is our last year for coming home on holiday because we can just barely deal with the loud noise from the rum shop speakers, the air pollution from passing trucks, the potholed roads, the stinking gutters, the congestion and decay of Kingstown, the high food prices (based on high import duties and VAT) the make our grocery bill twice as high as we pay in the diaspora, the neglected recreational facilities, the high crime rate, the ignorance and loutish behaviour of the populace, etc.

    God knows we only keep coming back because our pensions and savings would make it hard to stay in a fully furnished house comparable to the one we have at home for four months at a time.

    God knows if we lived even in a moderately temperate climate with no long, cold winter and lots of drifting snow to shovel that keeps us virtually prisoners in our own home for days on end we would never return.

    (I write this while it is minus 24 Celsius, or -11 Fahrenheit, outside!)

  3. David you are beginning to write repetitious rubbish. Even the worst built roads should last more than 4 months.

    You can see the crushed stone base coat in one of holes with a tarmac covering of about 2 inches, roads were never built like that in the past.

    David you must stop writing drivel on subjects you no nothing whatsoever about. If you want write about them carry out the appropriate research.

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