Some bus drivers are refusing to use the Marigot to Londonderry route, as the sea water near the Douglas-Charles Airport in Melville Hall is creating a risk to vehicles and residents, Parliamentary Representative of Wesley, Ezekiel Bazil has said.
The situation is that the sea has been breaching the seawall in the area for quite some time but it has worsened since the passage of Tropical Storm Erika, according to Bazil. Over the past few days, the situation has disintegrated.
“There are students who have to move from Concord, Atkinson, Marigot into the North East Comprehensive and that is a problem because some of the bus drivers have decided not to pass under this risky area,” he said. “The students sometimes have to get off the bus and walk across.”
He added, “A bypass was placed and this bypass is a misery for the road users especially for the people of the Wesley, Woodfordhill and Palm Tree area … it is a nightmare.”
Bazil stated also that in May 2015 the Minister of Public Works said monies was assigned to repair the wall and to put armour at the back of the wall, however, “From May of 2015 to January of 2016” nothing has been done.
“There has been no work from May of 2015, though he said there were $5-million aside to do that,” Bazil stated.
“People are getting fed up, it is life threatening, it is damaging the vehicles of people in the area since they see sea salt as a negative impact,” he said. “The sea water is coming over the wall with sand and stones and it is damaging people vehicles, it is a risk.”
Meanwhile, Bazil is calling on the government to address this issue urgently.
“The government need to do what it said it’s going to do by stepping in, repair the damage to the wall and they need to ensure that serious protection is placed at the back of the wall so that the sea would not be affecting the area to the extent that it is affecting it,” he said.
In January bus drivers plying that route stop services, because of that same problem.
The action has left scores of students attending the North East Comprehensive School stranded.
Those heading to work are also affected.
In January 2015 Public Works Minister, Ian Pinard said the first option to help solve the problem was to construct wave breakers behind the present seawall or divert the road.
He said the first option will cost a “huge” $25-million.
In February 2015, he said the ministry should receive the final estimate later in the week to determine the actual cost of the project, according to Pinard.
He mentioned also that necessary documents are being prepared and they should be taken to cabinet for review and a decision.
“We are definitely committed to finding a solution,” Pinard promised.
DNO will contact Pinard for a comment on the matter.
The video below taken in the area has appeared on social media.