A highly used stretch of the Ronald Mapp Highway between Redmans Village, St Thomas and Warrens, St Michael continues to receive a facelift.
Staff of C.O. Williams Construction Ltd is currently working along the side of the road in the Redmans/Bagatelle area, at times inches from passing vehicles.
Their work is not unappreciated, though, as residents in the area are more than willing to pay the price of progress.
“In order to get progress, you have to have inconvenience. I don’t mind as long as I get something profitable out of it,” said Monica Benjamin, who lives in Bagatelle, in one of the houses facing the site of the on-going construction.
In addition, Benjamin said the workmen were considerate and helpful. She said they regularly wet the road to minimize dust and even help people cross the road.
“They do everything for you; if you can’t cross, they stop traffic for you,” she said.
Despite this, she admitted she had a few concerns. However, she said those did not directly relate to C.O. Williams Construction.
“The only thing is that I wish we could get these gaps leading to the road fixed but that is Government, not them,” she said.
Muriel Walcott has an issue with small flying ants which give off an awful smell when crushed. She said they had started to gather on the wall of her home, which is adjacent to the site of the road works.
“This morning my wall was filled with them and I swept them off but now they’re back, maybe because of the light across the road,” she said, pointing to a powerful lamp set up to provide light for night work.
Walcott said the light was so powerful that it penetrated her house at night. However, despite this, she said she was still not complaining as she was happy the work was being done.
“I don’t worry about the work; if you want something to look good, then you have to deal with noise,” she said.
Sybil Griffith lives in the Langley Pass area of Bagatelle. She said that while she was experiencing minor problems with dust and noise and she wished the work would end soon, she was willing to bear with it.
“There is no sense complaining; it got to do so you got to be happy. I’ve been living with it for weeks now, so I will have to continue; there’s nothing you can do about it,” she said.
Salome Mayers is another resident who is happy with the work. She said she did not allow any negative effects of the construction to bother her.
“I don’t get a lot of dust and I don’t worry about the noise; I glad to see the work doing,” she said.
Mayers also reported the workmen to be friendly, saying she talked with them often.
The most serious concerns were expressed by resident Ashanda Henry. She said her daughter was asthmatic and the dust was affecting her. Even so, her story had a positive ending.
“She started to wheeze this morning and I had to call the men for a water truck. They were nice and told me it was nearby and would pass soon. It’s not really humbugging me. I just wish they would wet more,” she said, adding the rollers also “jerked” the whole place when they were working.
To the credit of the workers, they regularly wet down the work area but it quickly dries again.
Also, some residents said dust levels were bad at night as there were no workmen to wet it down.
Isola Henry said she would be glad to see the work completed so she could hook electricity up to her shop, the Bagatelle United Football Club. She said a lack of cold storage was hampering her business but, like the others, was willing to wait.
“It’s entertaining to see how fast the men does work,” she said.
A Press release from C.O. Williams detailed the work, advising motorists they would be widening the Hanson Hill area from Monday which would result in the section between Dash Valley and the Egerton junction east of South District being closed to traffic from Mondays to Fridays between 9:30 a.m and 6 p.m. As for Redmans, the release stated the preparation work for laying a 132 kilovolt cable was continuing.
“We are now cutting a drainage culvert across the junction by the Robinson house and traffic in and out of Warrens Heights is required to use the entrance/exit on the top of Warrens Hill. This Entrance/Exit is along the path of the old road which as you probably know has been reopened. This operation is anticipated to take about two weeks.