Some local roads have been improved over the last couple of years in certain areas of Abaco. But while driving northbound towards Treasure Cay or southbound from the airport roundabout to Casuarina it is impossible not to notice the many potholes and ripples on certain portions of the highways that make driving dangerous. In some instances, motorists do not hesitate to drive on the wrong side of the road to avoid them.
Having witnessed this occurrence on several occasions, this reporter decided to contact the local office of the Ministry of Works to get some answers as to what was being done about these problems.
Potholes are common and pose a definite danger as when driving at highway speed, sometimes it is too late to avoid them.
Ripples can be found in the Spring City area of Ernest Dean Highway, around Stink Pond and north of Leisure Lee on SC Bootle Highway.
The first thought that occurs is perhaps the proximity of underground water. After all, the road near Stink Pond was built over a creek cutting it in half; it is also surrounded by mangrove creeks at the proximity of Treasure Cay. But on the portion of the southern highway where the ripples are encountered there are no creek nearby.
One person suggested that it was possible that caves or blue holes could lie under the road. But another person, a geologist, brought forward the theory that uneven strata of terrain composed of small and large sediments not properly incorporated could be the reason. A third opinion was that the sinkholes under the macadam were not properly filled when the road was built.
Whichever the reason, a visit to the Ministry of Works’ local office was in order.
There, the recently appointed Director, Joshua Smith, reassured me that he was aware of all these problems and had already taken measures to rectify them.
He mentioned that he was awaiting more filling material as the pot holes on both highways were in the process of being filled. He also said that he had written to the Ministry of Works in Nassau to request that engineers be sent to Abaco to determine the cause of the ripples and to give a course of action to repair the defective roads. Mr. Smith is of the opinion that the affected areas will have to be stripped, properly packed and re-oiled
He also said that the Bay Road on Elbow Cay will be fixed and that the resurfacing of the track in Murphy Town Park Sports’ area will be addressed. He is waiting for a response from Central Government concerning the time frame.
He said that his primary goal as a new appointee was to make sure that all the roads were fixed and that all the public buildings such as schools and government offices were being taken care of.
So motorists, take heed while driving on the affected portions of roads. Be patient and observe the speed limit; plans are in place for smoother surfaces.
Mr. Smith became director of the local office of the Ministry of Works on December 12, 2017. However, he was not new to the position having worked for sixteen years for the Ministry in Nassau.
Before retiring in April of 2013 till December 2017, he acted as Administrator for South Abaco for a few months.