Short of cash, but the state-run Barbados Water Authority (BWA) is moving to resurface the roads it dug up to fix to burst mains.
A BWA team, led by Corporate Communications and Rapid Response Manager Joy-Ann Haigh, visited the affected areas to start restoration work on the trenches, which potentially pose a danger to motorists and other road users, particularly at night.
“We recognize there is a major problem with road reinstatement after the trenches are dug in an effort to repair these mains. We have some financial challenges as everybody should know by now. The BWA is cash-strapped. So there are some delays in getting this done,” Haigh said while standing next to an open trench at Rollins Road, Brittons Hill, St Michael this afternoon.
She said the authority is working on a plan to ensure all of the open trenches are restored faster.
“In the meantime, we will be taking pictures of all of the reinstatements and post them on our Facebook page, share with [Government Information Service] and all the media houses as a public service announcement. We are going to make sure the public is aware there are trenches in specific areas and you must proceed with caution,” she said, adding that this would be done until repairs can be completed in a timelier fashion.
Saying that the BWA’s priority was the safety of the travelling public, Haigh said securing the holes was a necessity in addition to the erection of more easily visible signage for night-time road users.
“We normally secure, but we recognize that we may need to improve some of the areas with lights and that is what we are going to do. So we are out here [Rollins Road] reinstating some of them,” said Haigh.
Trenches were excavated at Oldbury, St Philip, White Park Road in front of the Supreme Court, Cummins Road [Brittons Hill], and Royal Westmoreland, among “a number of areas”, the BWA manager said.
She conceded that the open trenches have been a concern to the public, adding that the concerns had reached the BWA’s line minister – Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Wilfred Abrahams who she said is looking at how best the reinstatements can be done.
“We certainly don’t want any injury or loss of life as a result of good work being done, but we need to make sure the trenches are reinstated. And left me repeat, we are going to secure them better and we are going to put public notices on our social media…you must like our page to get that information, as well as GIS and all of the reputable media houses will be assisting us in getting this information out as best as possible,” Haigh said.
Acting Senior Superintendent of Works with the BWA Randy Phillips, who accompanied Haigh, said restoration work could not be started today on the trench at Rollins Road.
“The reason why we can’t get this hole backfill right now at Rollins Road, Brittons Hill, St Michael is because it has a lot of water in it and then there is some excess material that came back in, that we need to get the [backhoe] to come and clear it out properly so we could get a good base. Then we could put in our two-down and be able to compact it, then it would be done in the required way,” Phillips told Barbados TODAY.
“But hopefully by tomorrow, I assure you this job would be done,” the BWA official stressed.
The team then journeyed to nearby Cummins Road to assess a similar problem.