At least one more road on Tortola will be fitted with gabion baskets to address the issue of landslides that have been affecting sections of the island since last year’s major weather events.
Effectively, gabion baskets are cage-like containers filled with rocks and used in road building to control erosion.
The roadway commonly known as Ballast Bay Road – which runs between Carrot Bay and Cane Garden Bay – is one of the areas affected by landslides and has subsequently become a danger and an inconvenience to the motoring public.
Residents in and around Carrot Bay voiced their concerns yesterday at a public meeting on government’s proposed recovery plan for the BVI.
While addressing the concerns, Permanent Secretary in the Works Ministry, Anthony McMaster said government has hired two contractors to rectify the problem.
He said the contractors are now sourcing a ‘special material’ to start building the gabion baskets along the Ballast Bay Road.
“It is something that we are keen to get moved forward and the contractors are aware of it and they are working to try and get it done as soon as possible,” McMaster said at the meeting held in Carrot Bay.
“We wanted both contractors to mobilize at the same time so that when we close the road, they both go in, do what that need to do and be out. So, they wouldn’t have to inconvenience the community twice in a short period,” McMaster added.
He did not state how much the projects will cost.
Fixing sooner could have worsened problem
The permanent secretary said the landslide problem could have worsened if the government had acted sooner and tried to remove boulders that were dumped on to roads during the landslides.
“When they (landslides) originally occurred, we had the engineers look at them. They basically restricted us from removing them (boulders and deposits) at that point in time because of the way in which the rain had saturated the earth. It could have slid further,” McMaster said.
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