THE BRIDGE at Joe’s River may be reopening in August but in the interim dozens of St Joseph residents are complaining, and business houses are feeling the pinch with its closure and that of a temporary road.
Yesterday at a meeting at St Elizabeth Primary School hosted by the District Emergency Organisation (DEO), several residents angrily voiced their frustration at having to make long detours in getting to work and taking their children to and from schools and day nurseries.
Member of Parliament Dale Marshall, who attended the meeting, said the closure of the collapsed bridge and more recently the temporary road – the latter because of the recent rains – had taken its toll on residents and the Atlantis Hotel & Restaurant in Bathsheba.
“There is a well established way in getting to Atlantis Hotel and Andromeda Gardens but when you have a circuitous detour, quite frankly some people just decide I am not going to go that way because I am no longer sure where it is I am to travel.
“The closure is impacting heavily on hundreds of my constituents. Their livelihood is at stake in several ways, getting to and from work, the way in which they get their children to and from schools and day nurseries, but also the one-man concern that operates is now faced with having to shut down simply because customers who would come are now diverted to go elsewhere,” he said.
Many residents were of the view thatthe temporary road badly needs marling to solidify it.
“From the time it was open, the road was used but the problem is because it is a road passing through chalky or clay-like sub-strata, as soon as it rains, it becomes very treacherous,” Marshall added.
The rains abated over the past few days and the Ministry of Public Works is expected to do an assessment this morning before deciding whether to re-open it.
Marshall said the time had come for a long-term, well-funded plan to rehabilitate the Scotland District which embodies three major communities in Boscobel, Belleplaine and Bathsheba.
“People loved these areas, but unless we grapple with the issues of the Scotland District, we are always going to be behind time. Scotland District is not something you can fix by tinkering with this road today and tomorrow. Putting in a few gabions will not solve the problem,” he added. (MK)