One day after a story ran in The Tribune concerning the deplorable condition of the roads in Central Abaco, workmen were seen patching potholes in the areas of most concern on Queen Elizabeth Drive and Don MacKay Boulevard in Marsh Harbour.
Simmons Construction and Heavy Equipment Ltd., to whom the road paving contract in Central Abaco was given, redirected their work crew to give attention to areas that contained many potholes, filling them with asphalt and then steam-rolling to pack the patches.
Then on Friday, September 20, they laid the regulating layer of asphalt on the much criticized stretch of road in front of Memorial Plaza allowing Abaco motorists to give a sigh of relief when driving through the area.
Renardo Curry, Minister of Parliament for North Abaco, said he spoke with the contractor and recommended that they patch potholes, particularly in the high traffic areas through Marsh Harbour.
He said the Abaco Ministry of Works did not have a supply of cold patch and they are also limited as they need a new truck. Mr. Curry said he is trying to get a new truck in Abaco shortly and presently, as a part of their good will, Simmons will provide a supply of asphalt for patching.
Just days earlier, outspoken Abaconian, Patrick Bethel, said the “roads are in worse condition than they have ever been,” noting his concern because it seems no one cares.
He said that the conditions of Abaco’s roads are “a disgrace and a danger” especially on the highways where motorists speed. “I know of a vehicle that turned over due to a pothole on the Ernest Dean Highway near the farm and another friend damaged his front end and cracked his windshield in another pothole,” said. Mr. Bethel.
While Mr. Bethel is pleased that the government responded quickly and has repaired many of the potholes in town he still intends to send his bill for $500 for repairs to his vehicle’s muffler – which he said was damaged due to all the potholes in Central Abaco, to the Ministry of Works.
Simmons Construction Company was awarded a $1.3 million contract to carry out repairs to portions of roads in Murphy Town, Dundas Town and Marsh Harbour on January 5, 2013; however, in July they were given the task of paving the main road from the airport in Marsh Harbour to the ferry dock at the Crossing.
Paving work began on August 26 and has been progressing despite being hampered by rain and delays in receiving aggregate materials.