OCHO RIOS, St Ann — Mayor of St Ann's Bay Desmond Gilmore has sought to reassure residents that the Parry Town to Pimento Walk main road, which has been the scene of many demonstrations over its deplorable condition, should soon come in for much-needed attention
Gilmore told the Jamaica Observer North East that the council was aware of the impact the deplorable road condition was having on residents and the motoring public.
"The council is not at this time in a position to find all of that funding, so we are seeking the funds elsewhere," Gilmore said. "But we just want to reassure them (the residents) that we are doing all that we can to bring that road to an acceptable standard and we are just asking them to bear with us as we try to do that," the mayor said.
He explained further that the National Works Agency also shares responsibility for the maintenance of the roadway and two estimates were being done to determine the exact cost to undertake the repairs.
According to the mayor, some remedial work was undertaken last month after heavy rains caused flooding and further damage to the already-battered Parry Town road, but much more work is needed.
Councillor Ian Bell (PNP, Beecher Town division) told the Observer North East that he was fully aware of the challenges the deplorable road condition has caused the hundreds of residents who traverse it on a daily basis.
Bell explained that the Parry Town to Pimento Walk main road was identified for priority attention and has been placed on a priority list at the council for repairs. The Ministry of Local Government and Community Planning , he said, is to allocate $10 million towards its rehabilitation.
"It is in a deplorable condition. It is bad, very bad and cannot be worst, even persons right now are very scared to walk on the road," Bell explained. "Everybody is complaining that they are afraid their foot will break so we are going to do something. I just want the community to know that we are working on it," he added.
Bell told the Observer North East that he has also sought private sector partnership to help with the road rehabilitation. He said the response from some private entities has been favourable and additional remedial work is expected to begin on the road soon.
Last month, angry motorists joined by some residents, staged a protest along Milford road to voice their concerns about the deplorable road condition which they said have caused serious damage to their vehicles.
The protesters, which were primarily taxi operators, said they were fed up with the state of the road which has been in disrepair for more than two decades, and called on their political representatives to have it addressed immediately.
Meanwhile, Gilmore said the council was also working in collaboration with the National Water Commission, which had dug up sections of the roadway to lay pipe lines, to have it addressed.