BVI News

Utility companies excavating roads but still neglect to repair

Melvin ‘Mitch’ Turnbull addressing residents of Spooner’s Estate during a community meeting on Tuesday.

Second District Representative Melvin ‘Mitch’ Turnbull said he will continue to advocate for utility companies in the British Virgin Islands to repair the roadways after use.

Roads are excavated or dug up for a number of reasons. Sometimes they are dug to expand the territory’s water distribution network, to repair and place damaged pipelines, to install fibre optic cables, among other things.

Turnbull, who was addressing the concerns of residents in Spooner’s Estate on Tuesday, said: “The government’s position and policy is that if Flow or CCT or Water & Sewerage or whoever digs up the road, they have the responsibility to pay for it to be put back the way it was.”

“[However], what continues to happen is no one holds them accountable so the next time Public Works or whoever is doing paving or patching, that’s when it happens. And, it would take persons like myself or other district representatives to keep calling for it to happen. These persons are not being held accountable … so how do we change that? I will just keep lobbying about it because I experience it. I believe everyone experiences it,” he added.

One male resident present at the meeting said the road-related issue has become more serious in the Spooner’s Estate community.

He claimed that the issue has persisted for years.

He said: “After the hurricanes, Water & Sewerage came in and made some connections — the roads still dug up. Coming in on the main road, you have to be swerving from this big hole. Once in awhile, people will try to fill it up, but they need to fix the road.”

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  1. thing to talk says:

    Was it was cable and wireless who messed up elevator hill road?

  2. What!!! says:

    Our roads are a DISASTER , got to wonder if someone in charge has shares in a auto repair shop. Patch the pot holes , rain, patch the pot holes, rain ,patch the pot holes, repeat over and over. If there is no one on Island capable of repairing roads properly just get someone in from outside to teach how it should be done.

    Like 16
    • Busy Bee says:

      @What!!! That’s the problem – the roads are merely patched, not “repaired”.
      Check out Verna Moll’s letter to the editor of the “Beacon” from 22 January on this very topic:
      Absolutely ZERO engineering goes into any patch jobs. You can see on a daily basis places where continuous water flow erodes the macadam… They only patch, they don’t solve the problem. If these road-patchers were doctors, they’d be treating the symptoms, but not the disease.
      50 years ago the Royal Engineers built a pretty fine road from West End into town. The warranty on that probably ran out after 40 years. Now the road is more like a paved washboard. Can we get the Royal Engineers back?

      • Royal Engineers says:

        First, the Belongers will clearly tell you that they know better than the Royal Engineers. Second, if you visit any City in the US you can obtain a copy of their Public Works manual that has specific details for road construction and repair. This is FREE!!!! However. In the BVI the government will hire a consultant to provide a useless report as he laughs all the way to the bank. Viva la Third World!!

  3. Kingfish says:

    This is quite simple, have the utility companies secure a performance bond equal to the cost of the repair of the road before granting them the permits to dig. If they fail to repair the bond pays for the repairs. If they continue that practice the insurance companies will refuse to issue bonds based on their past performances and they would not be able to operate.

    Time to start doing things in a business like manner BVI.

    Like 13
    • @Kingfish says:

      You need smart people in positions for this to be done. People here are about hearing their own voices and seeing their names in the media.

    • Bid/Performance/Payment Bond says:

      @King Fish, requiring a performance bond may achieve the desired results in repairing road cuts . However, the trio of bid, performance and payment typically are associated with a contract(s), particularly construction contracts. In realty though, a performance bond should not be required to get utilities to act. Government needs to execute its responsibility. Utility companies don’t execute because government don’t act. If utility companies failed to act within the specified time, government should effect the repair and bill the companies for the actual repair cost plus admin fees.

  4. Gordon says:

    This is true,the excavated well or holes should be repaired to prevent accidents and traffic jam on the roads. Some of the wells dug on the major roads and streets, such as Hanna’s/ Sea cows bay estate serve as death traps for road users.

  5. Anonymous says:

    A hundred thousand year old practice and problem. Givernments have always been aware of this, but has done nothing. Hopefylly such will end, or is this just lip service being rendered to a known problem with no governmental solution?

  6. NOT CCT says:

    CCT does not dig any roads whatsoever. Keep CCT out of this nonsense. Digicel was not even mentioned and they also did a bunch of digging all over the place.

  7. Responsible? says:

    No one here takes responsibility for nothing

  8. E. Leonard says:

    Cutting into a road weakens the condition and shortens the life of the road. To protect the road condition, avoid presenting a public safety hazard(s), prevent accidents, and reduce inconveniencing motorists, cuts must be repaired quickly and effectively; the repair quality should as a minimum equal the condition of the existing road.

    Further, to minimize cuts, government should coordinate major road work projects with utility companies and utility companies should use the opportunity to perform needed repairs, maintenance and upgrade. For example, in September of the current budget year, PWD should issue a list of major road projects for the upcoming budget year and beyond if info is available.

    Other than emergency road cuts, anyone or entity needing to cut into a road should be required to acquire a permit from PWD. Permit issued, PWD will be required to inspect repair work to ensure that the repair work meets at least the minimum standard and the project site is cleaned up. Further, requiring permits provides PWD with vital road managing information.

    Like 17
    • Road User says:

      @E. Leonard, you gone on different level and though good suggested processes, all I want government departments and utilities to do is repair their cuts and clean up after themselves. It that to much to ask?

    • Road Engineer says:

      @E. Leonard, good road cut suggestions. One more thing to add to the cut process is that the cut should be saw cut, straight and the straight cut should be 1-2 feet wider that the excavated hole. A straight and wider cut is integral to making a good patch.

    • Quiet Storm says:

      @E. Leonard, though I know didly swat about road construction, repair, maintenance and management, the road cut processes noted on the surface seems workable and simple enough to implement.

    • Busy Bee says:

      @E.Leonard – Spot on!
      Some planning might be put in place as well. You see places in the roadbed where Water & Sewage have dug up the same spot many, may times. The macadam shows scar tissue upon scar tissue upon scar tissue. They couldn’t get whatever repairs done with any degree of success numerous times.
      The way the system works now, Water & Sewage digs up the roadbed as often as they fancy, and then they walk away! Other People’s Problem!
      Another issue is that after repaving, access points (manholes) in the roadbed end up being several inches lower than the new surface. Neither Water & Sewage nor the phone or electric companies ever bother to raise their access points up to the new surface level. This goes on through numerous resurfacings… Years! We end up with man-made potholes (note the row of them leading past New Government House). Other People’s Problem.

  9. Devon says:

    Water & Sewerage are the worst culprits !
    They dig up the road do a quick repair (that usually doesn’t last) then chuck some dirt over the hole ! All their old pipes, personal trash and everything dug up is then left in a pile by the road never to be cleaned up !

  10. patriotic says:

    while we live in one of the most beautiful place on earth .our road networks are some of the worse within the Caribbean region.most of our sidewalks and pavements are very poor shape.
    We give safari bus license to operate and yet in many areas on ridge road and elsewhere two safaris cannot pass side by side , this is very dangerous.
    Hon Mitch knows about the exit road from Montessori school and Meyers estate (concrete is collapsing) before the hurricane but nothing was done to this day. God forbid someone get hurt or worse .this need to get fix asap.

  11. Water and sewage. says:

    There is a leak down Palestina for the past 4 months they came pour so asphalt in the huge pothole and the leak is still going so by next week the potholes will be back. There is another leak down Towers for months now also and nobody bothers.

  12. East man says:

    This has been a common practice for decades. It’s a simple issue to fix. Politicians are just paying lip service.

  13. Residents Too says:

    Residents also cut the road to lay pipes across the road and leave it just like that.
    My neighbor cut the road two years now and he constructed the house and did not even throw a little of the cement in the road to mend it back.

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