Road users fed up with the many potholes on the country’s roads could begin to see an improvement from as early as next week.
Minister of Transport & Works Michael Lashley has told Barbados TODAY private contractors hired to repair the potholes are expected to resume work on Monday following a break for Christmas.
“We would do what we have to do,” Lashley said in response to the growing complaints by motorists and pedestrians about the holes, some of which are being blamed for accidents and damage to vehicles.
Lashley was adamant that Government had been taking significant steps to address the problem, stating that “we’ve patched a number of potholes between November and December.
“We are starting back out on Monday back on the potholes.”
The minister blamed a number of factors for the expanding potholes, including consistent rainfall.
Asked by Barbados TODAY about the effectiveness of asphalt used to repair the roads, he said Government was taking a second look and was considering concrete as an alternative.
“I recognized that from years ago and we have a plan in place. We are not going to use asphalt, we are looking now to utilize concrete in some of these holes.
“The experts said it can be done and concrete is very cheap right now,” he said.
The Ministry of Transport & Works (MTW) has earlier said it was pursuing “an aggressive asphalt reinforcement programme” to address the pothole problem.
The MTW said in a statement that not only was it patching the potholes, but it had also begun to reconstruct some of the existing roads through a “mill and pave programme” financed through a loan from the Inter-American Development Bank.
“In addition to the pothole patching programme which is ongoing, the ministry has embarked on an island-wide road upgrade programme which will see a number of roads in all 11 parishes being paved,” the statement said.
MTW Public Relations Officer Avonda Scott told Barbados TODAY work had already begun at Whitepark Road, St Michael; Thorpe’s, St James and Ocean City in St Philip.
Scott revealed that other roads earmarked for repair include the section of Highway 5 from Brighton to Lower Greys; Market Hill to Locust Hall, Middleton to Workman’s, Boarded Hall Tenantry Numbers 1 and 2 and Jordan’s Road from Workman’s Primary School to Walker’s in St George; Rise N Sun from Newton to Searles Roundabout, Callenders to Thornbury Hill, St Patrick’s Roundabout to Charnocks, Enterprise Road from Oistins to Chancery Lane in Christ Church; Gills Terrace, Gooding Alley and Farm Road in St Peter; Well Road to St Clement’s and Josey Hill to Rock Hall in St Lucy; Vaucluse Main Road and Shop Hill to Content in St Thomas; Gall Hill Numbers 1 and 2 and Stewart Hill off Massiah Street in St John; Babylon in St. Andrew and Sugar Hill and Lammings in St Joseph.
Meanwhile Scott reiterated that motorist whose vehicles sustain damage due to the potholes could seek compensation.
“All they have to do is put in a claim to the ministry – write a letter addressed to the Permanent Secretary.”
The letter, she said, should include information on when and where the damage occurred, along with a valid driver’s license, insurance and road tax.
Only after an investigation is carried out by the MTW will compensation be paid, Scott warned.
However, she said claims would be settled quickly.