While recent roadworks have been completed within the historic part of Hope Town, patching a rough area that was seen to be hazardous, there is concern about other roads which have been long neglected by Central Government.
Hope Town District Council member and resident, Don Cash said the joint effort between the council and the community was just completed in mid-October making the main thoroughfare from St James Methodist Church to The Jib safer and much more pleasing to look at.
Mr. Cash, however, said that the conditions of the North End road and Dune road are in “a deplorable state” and is hopeful that Central Government will soon see fit to assist in some way to ensure the roads drivability and safety.
While to date there are not any known plans on the table to address specific roads in Hope Town, Central and South Abaco Member of Parliament James Albury said “I remain committed to working with the Ministry of Works and Local Government to get some of these necessary repairs and road works done for Hope Town.”
Mr. Cash said the North End road is barely drivable after a good rain, especially for golf carts. He added that there are only two companies that allow their rental carts to go to the North End because of the conditions of the roads.
He said that there are at least 30 rental homes on North End and all told about 70 homes in total.
The Council and Central government have previously discussed paving the North End road and various ways to do it from asphalt to sand and seal, Concrete or just a proper grating and rolling.
A report in early 2016 that Central Government intended to pave the road with asphalt was met with mixed feelings with residents of the area, some of whom would like to maintain the rustic and natural appeal of a non-paved road.
He said that a suitable solution to some residents is just paving with concrete areas that wear due to traffic and weather.
Mr. Cash expressed concern as the Dune Road is in terrible shape. He said it is being undermined by erosion and the top is in extremely rough shape. Something bad is potentially going to happen there sooner or later, he explained.
The Dune road was demolished in 1999 after the passing of Hurricane Floyd and was not properly restored and secured despite promising conversations with multiple administrations. Local Government did, however, work to assist in making the road safer but that has since been impacted by hurricanes and storms.
Mr. Cash said that the work in town had to be carried out in October because “once we get in the busy season it’s too much traffic. You can’t close the road for a week; can’t close it for a day within a month or so.”
He said that the Hope Town District Council was able to scrape together a third of the money. The quote for repairs was for about $7000 to patch the road from the Jib to the Methodist Church, “which was the worst stretch in town.”
He said he put out a request for donations via Facebook and within a week they were able to raise enough money from local residents and businesses. He said they were especially thankful to Abaco Construction who donated the equipment to get the work done.
The work was carried out by Jean Alcime and “he did a good job.” He said the work took just over a week to complete. “They jackhammered the holes, pressure washed them out and filled them with concrete.”
He said that while there are a couple spots within the historic district they are considered minor and can be fixed with a bag of secrete.