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Williamsville residents

Published: 
Tuesday, October 2, 2018
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A police officer removes debris from the road during the protest by residents of Garth Road in Williamsville yesterday. Photo by:RISHI RAGOONATH

Residents of Garth Road, Williamsville want some of the $883 million allocated for the upgrade and expansion of road and bridges to be spent in their community.

They pleaded with Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan for help.

When residents awoke yesterday, they found parts of the road slipping and a collapsed bridge.

They said they were tired of being neglected and burned debris across the road, demanding that their problems be addressed soon. Many of the adults in the community stayed away from work, while some school children joined the protest as they said the road was impassable.

Police stood by and watched as the residents protested. It was also a challenge for the police vehicles to navigate the road.

Ben Lomond/Hard Bargain/ Williamsville councillor Vashti Sookoo said that the members of Parliament who represent the Garth Road community have tried to assist and this prompted a visit by Sinanan in August 2017.

But since then, the road and bridges have deteriorated further. Sookoo said a ruptured WASA line was partly responsible for the continuous erosion of the road and constant floods that damage the bridges.

“This collapsing bridge, together with two major under-crossings, are collapsing right now. Also, there is damage to another bridge and the landslip we are seeing in front of us… I have been bombarded every day, as the councillor for the area, by residents whose vehicles have been breaking down and being damaged. This morning is the result of it because the landslip took place between last night and this morning.

“Residents could not go to work and children could not go to school. They have taken it upon themselves to do what they are doing now. I am pleading with the Minister Rohan Sinanan, please have a heart for Garth Road residents,” Sookoo said.

According to the Public Sector Investment Programme for 2019, the Road Construction/Major Road Rehabilitation Project will focus on works throughout the country.

This includes the implementation of traffic management measures, provision of alternative access routes, reinstatement and stabilisation of failed slopes and improvement of existing road infrastructure with an allocation of $140 million.

However, Williamsville is not included in the key projects targeted for 2019.

The Bridges Reconstruction Programme includes the reconstruction of 37 bridges.

The areas for which reconstruction work are carded includes St Joseph, Cunapo, Toco, Blanchisseuse, Freeport, Talparo and San Fernando.

Under the Landslip Repair Programme, works will continue on eight landslips and design works will begin for 60 landslips.

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