Dark Hole road collapses
Residents of St Sylvan’s Village in St Joseph are facing an uphill battle as the road known as Dark Hole goes downhill.
Late Friday night, a portion of the road collapsed into the nearby gully, and while no one was injured, residents told the Sunday Sun they were concerned about how the closure of the major vehicular artery could impact their remote community.
When a Sunday Sun team visited the area, a resident, who requested anonymity, said she was concerned about further land slippage.
The woman said she had not expected the road to collapse, as up to one day prior, she walked the now destroyed section with no issues and also saw the bus use the road with ease.
“We don’t know if it’s going to drop off anymore and if I want to catch the bus I’m going to have to walk far,” the resident said.
“With this road being the only means of transportation through here, they can’t expect to block off here and then you have to get off further up and walk down here by yourself on a night.”
Another resident said he experienced water outages on Thursday and questioned if that somehow was connected to the road’s collapse the following day. He also spoke of the transportation challenges the road’s closure would bring.
Dark Hole road acts as a main artery out of St Joseph, connecting communities such as Under Parks and Cane Garden with Bruce Vale, Haggatts and Chalky Mount in St Andrew.
Member of Parliament Dale Marshall, who was also on the scene, said the current situation was a major disruption to the small community, and said Government had abandoned the Scotland District.
“It will take a significant amount of financial resources to rehabilitate the Scotland District to the point where we don’t have to worry about this kind of stuff other than slight occurrences,” Marshall said.
“But the challenge is that the Government has totally abandoned the Scotland District. They’ve not put in the Scotland District Authority Bill and therefore we continue to be living in a constant state of peril.”
With areas like White Hill, St Andrew, already experiencing severe land slippage, Marshall said he hoped a similar fate did not befall St Sylvan’s, but said residents had good reason to be concerned as there was evidence to suggest the possibility.
Democratic Labour Party candidate for St Joseph, Dennis Holder, agreed that one of the main challenges facing the constituents was interruption of transportation services.
Following dialogue with residents, Holder said he had been in contact with the Transport Board in an effort to bring a temporary solution.
“They are proposing that the bus now traverse through Collins Hill and come to the junction by the bridge and turn there,” he added.
Efforts to reach officials at the Ministry of Transport and Works and the Soil Conservation Commission were unsuccessful. (AD)