Rocky road blues

Carlos Atwell,

Added 25 January 2013

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A plantation owner has some questions for Rayside Construction Limited. Robin Watson, the owner of Halton Plantation in St Philip, told the WEEKEND NATION he has issues with the length of time the construction company was taking with various projects. His particular peeve is the project which affects him most directly; the stretch of road along Highway 4B from Chapel, St Philip, to Brighton, St George. “That area, especially from Featherbed Lane, is all but finished and just needs to be surfaced (paved with asphalt/cement) but they won’t do it. “It has been marl for almost a year now and all they do is replace the marl when it rains and gets washed out. “I don’t understand why they won’t surface it; they just disappear off the job,” he said in a telephone interview on Thursday. Watson said the road was too rocky and full of potholes for him to risk moving his heavy equipment across it. “The equipment I use at the plantation has to go through Kendal in St John just to get to Featherbed Lane; it is a waste of diesel,” he said. In addition, Watson called into question other construction work being done “for years” from St Philip Parish Church to Padmore Village; Ebenezer to Carrington Sugar Factory, also in St Philip; and Henley/Bowmanston in St John. “These roads are mashing up people’s cars,” he said. A WEEKEND NATION team travelled a section of one of the roads, from Drax Hall in St George to Halton, St Philip. It was indeed unpaved but sported relatively heavy traffic, including trucks, which all had to make their way gingerly across the potholes. There was also a seemingly abandoned work hut with damaged windows. Along the route, people were spotted waiting at a bus stop which had pools of water collected in front of it as a result of a recent shower. When contacted, Rayside Construction’s general manager, Roger Gill, said he could not divulge information about the project without the permission of the client, which is Ministry of Transport and Works.

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