Roads in deplorable condition

It is obvious no Government or National Road Administration official lives in Red Bay since our streets are in such a deplorable condition.

In August 2004, I went before the planning board after I received a registered letter concerning the proposed condos to be built across from my own complex.

I protested the new building, not because I didn’t like having neighbours nor did I have a qualm with the builder, but because there was no infrastructure with the road system in place in the entire Red Bay area.

No consideration to flooding, road maintenance or safety was exercised with the extensive amount of new building being proposed nor were there any proper filter roads being constructed first before the erection of all these multi-family dwellings.

It had been rumoured that a filter road giving motorists the option to divert through the Grand Harbour area for easier access to the main road or the round-about was to be built and the vacant lot adjacent to the Mormon Church at the top of Selkirk Drive had been cleared for the punch through.

Today, that situation remains status quo.

At the above-mentioned meeting, I brought along a video of the terrible condition of the roads, unfinished filter road and substantial potholes. I was allowed to speak my peace about Government’s short sightedness when rubber-stamping mass construction areas.

I was thanked for my efforts and sent on my way.

Shortly after the meeting, Ivan hit and my protest became a moot issue.

Once cleanup and reconstruction of the area began, plans went on to build, build, build again without any concern to the roads.

To date, what few potholes were filled are now large gapping craters.

Feeble attempts to fill the potholes in the past are futile at best.

The shoddy repairs are washed away with each and every rainfall that results in the entire area flooded for days and sometimes weeks on end.

Local schoolchildren going to and from school buses and pedestrians have to wade in sometimes mid-calf high floodwaters manoeuvring to avoid passing vehicles and those ever menacing potholes.

Add to the problem, the worst speed bumps I have ever seen have been installed.

They are severely irregular, to the point that even at a crawl, lower suspension vehicles bottom out.

In the stretch before the turn, we have three streetlights, but not one of the speed bumps is installed under any of them. They remain just outside the concentrated beam of the light.

Huge construction vehicles, trying to bypass the bumps have rutted the side of the road and potholes that needed filling before, now almost swallow a small car.

God forbid an unwary scooter, motorbike, or even a bicyclist at night should hit one of these monstrosities.

The speed bumps were needed for excessive speeding, but some semblance of engineering forethought should have been in place prior to their construction and proper road repairs should have been made before adding more peril to an already dangerous situation.

These are not private but Government-owned roads.

Everyone that lives around me or has visited my home complains about the terrible state of the area roads.

Red Bay is not the only area blighted by its roads, but it’s the one I live in and know intimately.

Old Prospect Road, a short distance away, had long needed speed bumps and when they were installed, it was with just the right amount of height and breadth to deter speeding without doing damage to cars within the prescribed speed limit.

I invite any and all Government, NRA, Planning and Public Works officials to test out the tyres and suspensions of their new vehicles down Red Bay roads.

The best test drive can be taken after one of our typical torrential downpours and the further you go, the worse it gets!

Kathleen Bodden-Harris

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