Damaged Gordon Town road still hindering residents’ movement

Section of the damaged Gordon Town road
Section of the damaged Gordon Town road (Photo credit: Sudean Peters)

Residents of Gordon Town are facing continuous challenges due to the damaged road leading up to Stand Up Hill. The road was damaged last November by heavy rains generated by Tropical Storm Eta.

The National Works Agency (NWA) started repairs on the retaining wall at the Gordon Town Road in February. It is expected to be completed by mid-September within the planned seven- month period. Natalee Bloomfield, communications officer at the NWA, reported that the $195 million dollar project was over 70 per cent completed. She sympathized with residents for the disruption the damage had caused to their normal routine. “The movement of residents is non-existent on Gordon Town Road. Until the wall is reconstructed, people will not be able to use that roadway. The Savage Pen roadway is still in effect and was constructed for the residents to use as an alternative route,” said Bloomfield. 

Although repairs are proceeding apace, some residents do bemoan the inconvenience and the changes to their lives brought about the restrictions to their movement. Joyce Sawyers, 79 years old, said that she understood that the Gordon Town Road was taking a long time to be fixed because of the extent of the damage, but she could not go to her church or to the clinic.

Another resident, 52year-old Pauline Slater, did not think that the road works were taking too long, “I wouldn’t say it’s taking long. The breakaway was in November and remember the road was a narrow road, so to get the excavator to come here, you know it takes some time. So late February, early March they start fixing it.” Slater, was however, understanding of the plight of the residents from Content and Mavis Bank who had to pay exorbitant fares to get to Papine. “They have to walk a part of the way to get to a vehicle, it’s kind of stressing for them,” said Slater. She was hopeful that the repairs to the road would be completed soon, as she, too, had not been to church since the road was damaged. “Well for me now, I haven’t been to church from the breakaway. I am afraid to go out there to get something to go up the road because you know I have to cross the breakaway to go on the next side to get something,” said Slater.

Bradley Beadle also agreed with the appropriateness of the timeline for rebuilding the road, “They are almost to the top of the road and its taking sufficient time, or the right amount of time to be built because I tell you it’s a very tedious process,” said Beadle. Beadle said he understood that the road would take time to be re-built so it would be able to withstand further rainfall.

However, Beadle noted that residents were paying twice the fare for transportation. “It cost a lot of fare and people who have luggage going across have to pay the bike man and people pushing trolleys to get their items across,” said Beadle. He shared that this expense was an added pressure on all residents who had to constantly move through the area. He advised that he avoided patronizing the corner-shops that required him to pass by the damaged road. Instead, he went to Papine to get all his necessities.

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