By Esther Durand, BVI News Staff
The deplorable condition of the road on Tortola known as ‘The Elevator’ is finally being addressed.
Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works Jeremy Hodge told BVI News that a three-day project which started on Wednesday will see a much safer roadway for motorists and pedestrians who ply that route.
“Part of the problem that we have been having on this road is when the concrete trucks go up on the road – because of the steepness – it causes spillage, and when the concrete gets hard, it makes it difficult for cars to utilise the road,” Hodge explained.
He said a team comprising of the Public Works Department and a private contractor is in the process of removing the concrete residue build-up as well as the asphalt beneath it.
When completed, the road will be thoroughly cleaned and resurfaced. Hodge said the concrete portion of the road located above the steeper section of the road will also receive targetted attention.
“We are working on designs to support that road,” he said.
In the meantime, Hodge said the Works Ministry is brainstorming suitable measures that can be implemented to prevent concrete trucks from traversing that route.
He said among their plans are to construct a barrier so that vehicles taller than a certain height would not be able to traverse the area.
Authorities are also considering to place CCTV cameras in the area and engage the public to report on any concrete trucks who are seen using the route.
He said they will also be soliciting the cooperation of the local concrete companies in that regard.
Money now available
Asked why the road is only now being repaired and resurfaced, Hodge said, among other factors, an unavailability of money delayed the start of the project.
“It has been quite a bit going on since we have been going through the recovery period and I guess it has been a lack of focus to deal with this particular road,” he said.
“It is something that has been on the schedule for a while, among other things.”
Another reason for the delay was sourcing asphalt, the permanent secretary said.
“We don’t have our own asphalt plant as yet, and it took some time for us to access asphalt from the company that we were depending on to set up. Once we touched that road, we needed to put asphalt on it because it is so steep. So now that we have access to some asphalt and we have access to some funding, we are now able to accelerate the works on that road.”
Hodge was not able to say what is the total cost of the project, which is being funded by the Ministry of Finance
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