Jacks Hill grows weary of pothole ‘hopscotch’
Residents urge MP to address road crisis; Chuck blames delay on procurement process
Residents of Jacks Hill in St Andrew mounted roadblocks on Tuesday morning to protest the condition of the roads in their community, saying that the already-terrible state was worsened by recent heavy rainfall.
Using felled trees to block the intersection of Juba Spring and City View, they expressed frustration at the quality of representation they have been receiving from St Andrew North Eastern Member of Parliament (MP) Delroy Chuck, who has held the seat since 1997.
“We are saying, for the past decade Mr Chuck has been representing us, and none out of those two roads (Juba Spring and City View), he has not fixed one metre … and we are tired of it,” 59-year-old resident Delroy Francis told The Gleaner.
“How can you be representing us for more than a decade and don’t try to fix the road?” he asked.
Francis lamented that the promises made to fix the road by the MP during a visit to the community earlier this year remain unfulfilled.
In the meantime, he said that motorists have been forced to dig deep into their pockets to carry out costly repairs to their vehicles as the potholes destroy front ends and wear out tyres.
“[You have to] mek sure you have a light so you don’t break yuh foot or sprain yuh foot, or if you driving, mek sure yuh drive properly ‘cause you don’t want yuh car to drop dung in a pothole and next thing yuh haffi go call help to lift it out,” he added. “Yuh haffi play hopscotch with the road when you driving on it.”
Winsome Kelly has lived in the community for 50 years. She recalls when the late former MP David Lindo lived in the area, the roads were well maintained.
But over the years, she said the road conditions have deteriorated, and because of the terrain, they have also become dangerous.
“The road very bad, and you have a lot of corners going around, and the rain fall and it mash up di whole a di road,” she said.
“The rain fall and the water come down like a [river]. ... There is no more asphalt on the road, bare stony stony. A lady was going to church, an elderly [woman], but she nearly bruk har foot. She fall and roll on the asphalt,” Kelly told The Gleaner.
Meanwhile, Chuck is urging the residents to be patient.
The six-term MP said that he had committed the $40 million allocation he received in December from the Constituency Development Fund to fix the roads in the community, but the procurement process is still ongoing.
“For the last six months and more, it has been going through the procurement process. From we got the allocation, I promised that most of it would have been used to fix the roads, and to this day, a contract has not been signed,” he told The Gleaner. “Until it is signed, it can’t be fixed, but I think now that the residents have communicated to NWA (National Works Agency) the urgency of the situation. I hope that they will expedite the procurement so the contractor can go and fix the road.”