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Residents concerned – Road may not be ready

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Some residents of Virgin Gorda have raised concern about the quality of work being done on the main road in the central part of their island, adding that they don’t think the works will be completed in time for the 50th anniversary celebration of the Virgin Gorda Easter Festival.

The Lee Road, which is located in the Valley, is usually used for the Easter Monday parade as well as the Rise and Shine Tramp – both of which are scheduled to be held on April 17 this year.

Back in September when the $1.6 million contract was being signed for rehabilitation of the roadway, contractor Anselmo Stevens promised to deliver the rehabilitated road in time for the Easter festival.

But, when BVI News Online visited the project this week, residents shared our observation that it would take a miracle for the works to be finished in time for the Easter festivities.

During a community meeting also this week, residents scoffed when their political representative, Dr Hubert O’Neal, expressed hope that the road rehabilitation will be completed in time for the Easter festival.

Recognizing the residents’ response, Dr O’Neal stated that, if the roadway is not usable by then, organizers of the festival will have to find an alternative to the road they used for some 50 years.

“We are going to get a nice road when it’s done. Hopefully it will be usable by festival; festival is due in about the next two weeks’ time. We are still hoping; we are still hoping it (the roadway) might be usable. But, if not, we might have to use a different route. But nonetheless we are pleased that that redevelopment of the road is happening,” Dr O’Neal told residents.

Concrete on pipes

Residents were not only concerned about the timing of the project, but also the fact that – according to them – concrete was being poured on pipes laid underground.

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One resident, who was identified as Donald, claimed that pouring concrete on underground pipes is an engineering disaster.

“I don’t know if we are going forward or backward because imagine this: we are putting down a multi-million dollar drain, and where is the water supply pipes now..? We are pouring concrete on top of these pipes. So anytime we get a little earthquake and one of them pipe broke, they have to rip up the whole road. I don’t know where in God’s name they get these engineers from coming here and telling we these bunch of nonsense,” the resident said.

His views were shared by Dr O’Neal, who however stated that he will follow the engineers’ guidance because he has no training in that area.

“I understand what Donald is saying [about] what he sees going on there with the pipes and putting the drains; I think he is correct that if one of these pipes rupture under the drain that means you have to dig up the whole drain to fix it. But this is what the engineers are telling us [as it relates to how the work should be done]. This is the way that they feel is the best way to remedy the situation,” Dr O’Neal said.

He also noted a number of errors that have resulted in ponds being filled for development, causing a major drainage problem in sections of the island.

“That (filling ponds) in itself going to create problems, which we have now witnessed with flooding that’s happening right now. We now understanding the importance of the ponds that we continue to destroy all the time,” added Dr O’Neal.

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