Diego residents beg for walkover

Over the past four years, seven people have been killed and many more injured while crossing the Morne Coco Road and Four Roads intersection of the Diego Martin Highway.

Residents, most of them elderly, say they are fearful of being killed or injured while crossing the road and are calling for construction to begin on the promised walkover.

The walkover, a project of the National Infrastructure Development Company (Nidco), was scheduled to start from April 2017 to December 2017. However, there are no signs that construction will be commencing any time soon.

Yesterday, a group of residents, supported by the political leader of the Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) David Abdulah, gathered to highlight the issue. The latest fatality took place on December 7, 2017, when 64-yearold Etta Reid, of Powder Magazine, was knocked down and killed while attempting to cross the road. That incident occurred at about 5.15 am.

Reid’s close friend, Margaret Bernard, 65, said she along with other residents in the area are “desperate” for a walkover to be constructed.

Another resident, Everton Bryan Roberts, 63, said they only attend meetings and are given “a lot of runaround.”

He said on Saturday, at about 1 am, a vehicle ran off the highway and ended up on one of the islands of the intersection. He said the elderly residents are mostly affected because they cannot run across fast enough when the intersection’s countdown starts.

“How many more must die?” Roberts asked. Resident Roland Monderoy told Guardian Media his 14-year-old nephew, Elijah Samuel survived when he was knocked down while crossing the highway. “He suffered a broken hand and bruises and was hospitalised for a while and nothing came out of that incident up to this day.

No justice. The authorities just mamaguying us right through. We want this walkover now and we are sure the people will use it.”

In an immediate response, Minister of Works and Transport, Rohan Sinanan said he has no doubt that the project will be starting soon as it is far advanced in design and the tender documents are being drafted.

He however, admitted that the delay for the start of the construction was caused by some residents who claimed that they did not want the footings of the walkover to be on the HDC’s compound.

A statement issued by the Ministry yesterday said the construction of the overpass across the Diego Martin Highway has been included as part of its programme of works for fiscal 2018/2019.

Source: www.guardian.co.tt (Rhondor Dowlat)

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