Quarry gets concrete road; residents happy
Five months after work commenced on the rehabilitation of 1,200 square metres of roadway in the Quarry community in Glendevon, St James, the $15 million project, which was done using the new technology of combining concrete with asphalt, is all but completed.
The rehabilitation of the road, a joint venture between the Caribbean Cement Company Limited (CCCL), and Dr Horace Chang, member of parliament for St James North West, forms part of an initiative to upgrade degraded roadways across that section of St James.
Shirley Riddle, a resident, said the community has been without a solid road surface for several years, which makes her very happy with what has transpired. She said, prior to the commencement of the rehabilitation work, floodwaters coming down from the hills of Salt Spring and Montego Hills would damage the road surface and destroy homes.
“We could not walk on the road comfortably. We had to be paying extra fare for taxi drivers to carry us inside here,” Riddle told The Gleaner. “If you work at night, taxi drivers don’t want to come inside here because of the bad road. But now that the road is fixed, we can drive in comfort all the way to our gates and business places.”
Will benefit the wider community
Daswand Samuels, who has been integral to the execution of the project on behalf of the community, agreed with Riddle and expressed much delight at being a part of something that will benefit him and the wider community.
“We thank Caribbean Cement for giving Dr Chang this road for us. We are glad for the opening of the road,” said Samuel. ‘It is not 100 per cent, [completed], about 95 per cent. After this ceremony, we are going to correct the other five per cent.”
Yago Castro, managing director of CCCL, said the concrete roadway will last for another 60 years, but will require some enforcement every 10 years.
Speaking at the commissioning ceremony for the rehabilitated road, Castro revealed that the Quarry project is the largest of all the road projects they have done to date, and the surface is already showing a high level of resilience against the weather conditions.
“I’m very glad to see that the solution that we’ve applied here has already resisted very heavy rains,” Castro told residents. “I’ve been told that you had a big test, with very strong waters coming down, and the paving is still here, and I can promise you it’s going to be with you for a lot of years.”
Chang said CCCL’s investment in building this concrete roadway is timely, as it has happened at a time when climate change is impacting the weather conditions in Jamaica, which is impacting the road surfaces.
“In the last 10 years, I have seen them (adverse weather conditions) coming every two years. Therefore we have to prepare our construction with a certain level of resilience,” said Chang. “With the increasing heavy showers and flood rains, we have to build our roads at a higher standard.”
“A lot more work will have to be done within the next decade. As a small island which is subject to hurricanes, earthquakes, we are at risk of serious infrastructure damage from extreme weather conditions,” added Chang.