We were diverted at Cheney Bay this morning. Had to turn around and drive all the way out to Grapetree to drive up and over to the south shore to go west toward town. Ridge Road has been blicked by downed poles and powerlines since Maria. A sinkhole opened up in the middle of East End Road just west of Cheney.
On the way back home (same route), noticed trucks lined up across from the Cotton Valley firehouse. For three weeks I've been expecting the highway department to fill in the "mini canyon" that formed along the north side of East End Rd.
During Maria, a river of muddy water ran down out of the hills, past the firehouse, across East End Rd, and charged into the Sea, It took a huge amount of rock and soil with it, creating this "mini canyon" immediately adjacent to the asphalt.
Last night and this mornings rain water apparently washed away under the pavement. Just East of Coakly Condos on East End Road is a similar washout waiting to happen.
Granted, there's a lot going on right now, but I'm beginning to think the words "preventative maintenance" are not in the local government's vocabulary.
The sink hole in front of the botanical gardens is probably going to wash out a section of center-line if we get some more heavy rain... it's been slowly growing all week.
I passed it today.
J. Benton, local contractor - not Department of Public Works, was on the scene. They had one lane dug out to a drainage pipe below when I went by.
Traffic was being flagged around the work area.
Looks like the pipe was probably filled with debris by all the runoff lately, so the water had squeezed around the pipe and washed out all the dirt around it.
Barriers were at the other two bad locations on East End Rd, across from the Cotton Valley firehouse, and by the Coakly condo curve. At least it shows their aware of the bad areas that need attention. Hopefully J. Benton crews will be on those soon as well.
"East End road near Chenay Bay probaly won't be open today or Monday morning. Crews are done for the day after a torrential downpour, but progress has been made, and water is flowing through the new pipes."
Governor Mapp, on his press conference last night, responded to question about plans to repair the roads. He said the asphalt companies sustained heavy damage. None (STX or STT) are up and running. Said STT asphalt tried to bring their plant up but it went back down in same day. No eta.
"Virgin Islands Paving (V.I.P.A.), established in 1981, told The Consortium on Tuesday that the company was up and running and has been ready to get on with paving roads on St. Croix for at least two weeks.
Robert Schierloh, president of V.I.P.A., told The Consortium that the company was prepared to perform work, and has been waiting on the “notice to proceed” from the Department of Property and Procurement (P&P) for a project in Catherine’s Rest. Mr. Schierloh said it was his company’s understanding that P&P was ready to issue the notice to proceed once given the clear by D.P.W. V.I.P.A. then contacted D.P.W. informing the department that it was ready to move forward with work.
“Virgin Islands Paving is prepared to work. I think the best way to put it is, bring it on. Bring on the work; we’re ready,” Mr. Schierloh said. He said V.I.P.A. notified the government of its preparedness to proceed with the Catherine’s Rest project two weeks ago. The work would see the overlaying of the entire Catherine’s Rest area, and costs just below $1 million, Mr. Schierloh said.
V.I.P.A. was also waiting on a notice to proceed from the government for an Estate Profit job; a larger, $5 million project that is federally funded, Mr. Schierloh said.
The company did suffer damage following the passage of Hurricane Maria, and was down for about a month. “We got damage like everybody did. We had repairs to do but we’re up and running now, and I know St. Thomas is up and running now,” Mr. Schierloh said."
Funny how part of the deal with Limetree was supposed to be an asphalt plant. I forgot what the reason is, but I remember hearing that is no longer slated to happen. Too bad because we could sure use one.
I remember when we visited Dominica several years ago. The Chinese were paving roads and building bridges all over the place. The quality of their main roads was amazing. No potholes, proper storm water drainage put in place and lots of people WORKING! I'm sure they are severely damaged now after Hurricane Maria but it was an eye opener to see a supposedly poor country have very good roads. I am also aware that they probably came at a cost to the Chinese government in terms of fishing or water rights. But damn, driving on those nice smooth roads with was delightful.
One more thing I would like to mention about Dominica. I noticed how people plant Ti plants, hibiscus and other ornamental on the side of the road. It beautiful! It would be nice if VI residents could adopt an area of road near where they live and do the same thing. Now that there are these large swaths cleared on the sides of the roads, it gives us a perfect opportunity. Rather than tan tan and manjack constantly growing into the right of ways, we could have flowers!