EDITORIAL: Maintain our road system
THE road situation in Barbados has once again taken a turn for the worse, as recent heavy rains have resulted in huge potholes and, in some cases, large sections of asphalt being washed away leaving many roadways treacherous if not impassable.
Just this past week there have been reports in the press and images on social media of some examples of these damaged roads, one of which showed a truck lodged
in a huge hole that had opened up in its path. These types of images are more than incredulous, they are frightening, as any motorist who encounters something similar could attest to the shock and fear of the initial incident, followed by the shock and fear of the financial burden of repairing such damage to a vehicle.
BRSA restarts initiative
Thankfully, the Barbados Road Safety Association (BRSA) has restarted its initiative to place flags at the side of roads to warn motorists of dangerous potholes, which should reduce the risk to all drivers as well as reduce the cost of potential repairs for individuals.
While this is helpful, it is obviously not a long-term solution. At the very least, the asphalt being used in the quick fixes for potholes should be compacted to prevent it being washed away again with the next downpour!
Care should also be taken to ensuring that utility companies which often are called upon to do repairs that involve roadworks, clean up and repair the area in question when the work has been completed, instead of leaving open trenches or unlevelled roads which would become problematic if not fixed.
Members of public must do their part
While the onus is on the state to maintain this country’s roads, thus ensuring its citizens’ safety, members of the public must also do their part to maintain the upkeep of the highways and byways. For instance, littering poses a major problem when heavy rains occur as it results in flooding and when major bodies of water cannot exit through the correct channels, then the raging waters captured on video on occasion would cause the surface of the road to lift up and wash away. Therefore, every individual can play a small part by simply not littering.
In the grand scheme of things, many might think that potholes and damaged road surfaces are nothing major, but a country’s infrastructure is one of the ways in which one could evaluate its development. And if Barbados wants to continue to boast of being one of the better developed countries in the region, then it must step up and maintain its road system.
Currently, there is major rehabilitative work being done on Highway 1, along with roadworks in every parish in the island. It is hoped that the work continues despite any bad weather and that motorists are considerate and patient with those workers on the job.
In the final analysis, everyone is working towards improving Barbados’ roads and ensuring the safety of both motorists and pedestrians alike.