WATCH: Amid Hertford road protest, MP Wright says pleas for fix have fallen on deaf ears
WESTMORELAND, Jamaica – Independent Member of Parliament for Westmoreland Central, George Wright says his pleas to authorities to fix the Hertford main road in Westmoreland, which is in a deplorable condition, have fallen on deaf ears.
He made the revelation as residents and taxi operators blocked the thoroughfare on Monday morning, disrupting school and leaving commuters stranded, to protest the poor road condition.
The blocked roadway has also affected tour operators attempting to transport tourists to Mayfield and Benta Falls in the parish. Observer Online noticed a JUTA tour operator turning back with tourists onboard.
Wright told Observer Online that he has made numerous calls to the National Works Agency (NWA) to rectify the issue.
“I keep calling [NWA] and it has not been futile,” Wright stressed.
“Taxi operators with other road users block the main thoroughfare from Fort Williams to Hertford. I know for a fact that the road is bad,” Wright said.
The police have maintained a strong presence in the community amid the protest, while the NWA, in response, said work on the road is in the pipeline.
“The Hertford main road in Westmoreland is one of the corridors being given active consideration by the National Works Agency. We are now in the final stages of the procurement process and we anticipate that in another couple of weeks we will be able to make an award and also to commence the work along that particular stretch of roadway,” NWA’s Community Relations Officer for the Western Region, Janelle Ricketts, told journalists.
Ricketts noted that the thoroughfare has a drainage issue.
“The particular stretch of roadway that we will be focusing on has some drainage issues and this has lead to the deterioration overtime. So what we will be doing is significant drainage improvement works there where we will be constructing a number of drains; including new drains and V drains,” Ricketts said.
“We will also be raising that section of the roadway and be doing base formation as well as the asphalting of that particular road,” she added.