- Poor road condition sparks heavy losses
Damaged motor vehicles, high repair bills, disgruntled customers and loss of business are some of the factors which continue to stoke the anger and frustration of business operators over the deplorable condition of Fairfield Avenue, in the Bogue Industrial Estate, Montego Bay.
The road, which is riddled with huge potholes, and broken in parts, has been like this for the past three years, earning the ire of business operators and customers alike.
Douglas Gore, Managing Director of Montego Freight Services, says he has been at the bitter end of it as he continues to lose customers, some of whom have become fed up with the situation after ending up with damaged vehicles and have taken their business elsewhere.
“Deplorable is not good enough to describe this road. The holes are very deep and whenever it rains, they fill up like pools, which make them even more dangerous to unsuspecting motorists who end up with motor vehicles with damaged frontends and other parts. The politicians know about it; MP Marlene Malahoo Forte and Councillor Dwight ‘Deebo’ Williams, and nothing has been done about it,” he explained.
Gore said in a bid to retain his customers, he has been patching the road and was forced at one point to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to fix the road, to ensure that his business would continue to flourish.
“I spent over $300 thousand to have the road fixed to ensure that customers were satisfied, but it did not last for too long, as in five months, we had the problem again,” he said. “I have a 2018 Audi and I can’t drive it to work because of the terrible state of the road. It cannot continue to be like this. They must address it and soon”.
But he is not the only one who continues to encounter problems, Robert Miller, who operates and manages Bio GT Engineering, says he is confronted daily by a large pothole in front of his building.
“It is very bad. It has been ongoing for too long, years now, and no one seems to be interested in getting the road fixed. Cars have to be ‘riding’ the sidewalk to avoid the large potholes.
Mr. Miller also contends that the matter is further compounded by the dust from the concrete company.
“The road condition is extremely awful and then the dust gives us more work to do to clean up because it settles on our vehicles and it is hard to wash off.”
Daniel Lee, Head of Department of Island Concrete Company at the Bogue Industrial Estate, is another disgruntled business operator who says the trucks that the company operates are damaged daily when they travel on the road, causing the company to incur losses due to repairs to the vehicles.
“The constant jerking, thrusting to-and-fro with weight damages the trucks so it is not good. Some vehicles can travel on the sidewalk but the trucks cannot. We have pointed this out to the authorities but they are dragging their feet as it relates to having the road fixed.”
Mr. Lee says in addition to the dreadful road conditions, the area needs to be bushed as the grass and other plants grow over onto the road as well.
Meanwhile, several attempts to contact the Member of Parliament for West Central St. James, Marlene Mahaloo Forte, for a comment on the matter proved futile as her phones rang incessantly.