After waiting more than 40 years, residents of Fruitful Hill, St Andrew, now have a proper road they can traverse.
Just under a year after personnel from the Ministry of Transport and Works (MTW) began work to reconstruct the road, residents are now able to access their homes via a new, paved surface.
And while they are grateful, residents are calling on the authorities to finish repair the remaining stretch of road which connects them to the Fruitful Hill community in St Joseph.
Jennifer Kellman, who has been living in the area for over 30 years said the sight of a paved road in Fruitful Hill, St Andrew, was one her son had never seen.
“He is 26 years old and this is the first time he has ever seen a paved road out here. We are very relieved to finally have a decent road we can drive on. It might have taken 40 years but we are still thankful,” she said.
Another resident who asked not to be identified told Barbados TODAY the previous road had been very costly for persons who owned vehicles.
He said he had spent thousands of dollars on tires and shocks and was glad to finally have a good road on which to drive.
“We are elated. This new road means a smoother ride and our shocks will last a few more months. I am so happy to have gotten a little relief,” he said.
He explained that now the road was fully paved Transport Board buses would be able to bring residents through the community and closer to their homes.
He said they had been forced to trek from the bottom of the hill, sometimes with bags in tow because buses were not able to get into the community due to the poor state of the road.
Desmond Marshall resides in Fruitful Hill, St Joseph, and is hopeful that remedial work to repair the collapsed road will begin soon.
“This road has been like this for close to 40 somebody years. They were doing the gabions down there and a guy got stung with some bees so they just stopped fixing it. Man I would like them to start fixing it now, that is the honest truth,” he said.
“I hope they would soon try and do something about it because it would be easier access to going in St Andrew too.”
Member of Parliament for the area Attorney General Dale Marshall told Barbados TODAY that residents in the area had suffered for too long.
He said more than ten years ago under the previous Barbados Labour Party administration led by Owen Arthur, repairs had begun.
Marshall said a change of Government led to a halt in road works.
“The completion of the road at Fruitful Hill is something that was way too long in coming in a modern Barbados. When I first faced the polls in 2003, this was one of the roads that I identified for construction. It was a source of regret and embarrassment that residents had to use little more than a track to access their home, when decades previously they had enjoyed a good road,” he admitted.
“The work was started in 2007 and was nearing completion at the time of the 2008 general election. After the BLP lost that election, the work abruptly stopped. These constituents have been long-suffering and I share in their delight that finally Fruitful Hill is serviced with a proper road. In the near future, we will see the entire stretch of road leading to
Lower Parks also being paved.”
The Attorney General said there was much more to be done in terms of restoring the road network in the constituency.
“It will take time and most importantly resources,” he said.
Marshall said the MTW would soon be fully mobilized in St. Sylvan’s Village (Dark Hole) to restore the road which was destroyed through slippage in January, 2018.
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