The heavy downpour over the past week has not only left many areas of Town waterlogged but is also giving motorists a nightmarish ride and headache thanks to the potholes that keep popping up or get larger on most road surfaces. Reporter Maria Novelo and Videographer Jesus Melgar took to the streets where we were inundated with complaints from motorists who are fed up with the bad road conditions since they are now facing expensive repair costs for the damage to their vehicles.
Maria Novelo – Reporting
If you are a regular commuter in Orange Walk Town, chances are that you may have either fallen into a pothole or may have developed severe back pain. Heavy rains this week has once again exposed the poor quality of roads in Town, as even the ones that were re-carpeted have developed new potholes.
Motorists have found the need to swerve through puddles and potholes, some of them big as craters; left with no other option but to fret and fume as they maneuver thru the dilapidated roads to reach offices and homes.
“Not only me it affects all the taxi drivers and the public in general, those type of front wheel cars are not or this types of street now because struts cost a lot of money, now my concern is that Orange Walk does not have like fifty cars like years ago but it is almost over populated with vehicles and the streets need something that is called maintenance daily it should be watching and fixing the streets.”
“Well I think this is in a bad situation and this is the city of the hole and not Sugar City. I believe any way you go you have pot holes a lot and it is very deteriorated and so all parties and come in they don’t do nothing to fix it and so I don’t know what the problem with them is.”
“Ih di hambug up them car and have to change tire every minute and it messes up my business bad, bad too.”
With road conditions deteriorating and new potholes forming rapidly, the cash-strapped Orange Walk Town Council is experiencing a backlog of defects due to constant rains. Mayor Kevin Bernard says, they are doing the best they can with the little resources they have.
Kevin Bernard - MAYOR, OWT
“Even though under the rain we still went out there and try to address some of those huge pot holes that we have on some of our area, just yesterday the guys were out at Bethias Lane addressing those areas, we did a lot of work in the lower part of Pasadita area, if you drive around the rivers area you will find that we have a lot of material dumped in those areas we did not level those material because of the weather but we are going to be addressing those issues, we have a street back in the Marcus Canul area which is Cactus Street that has a huge hole, the recently pave street I think closer to the 2012 election but we are going to be addressing those issues, we know that our residence feel sometimes frustrated, I too feel frustrated when we travel in the town at times and see, you know you wake up in the morning and after the rain just poured down you see the street continue deteriorating. I want to make that full commitment that we will be addressing those things, it is our priority, we need to at least have our drivers driving on at least a piece of decent road.”
And the public response varies. While residents of some areas are happy that the craters are being patched, others wonder if potholes are here to stay. Drivers say part of the problem is that temporary repairs are being made, but the holes just keep reappearing.
“We want to see action and we want to see this thing to come to reality. It is like right now we have the highway here, we have in front of our taxi stand we have in front of the commercial shops, we have by police station, we have by shell gas station and further up is in terrible condition and central government is talking that the pot is full of millions of dollars what are they doing that we are in this condition.”
“The vehicles are getting worse because of too much holes by my area by Union Town is flooded and everything and I don’t know what to do.”
The Mayor says that several pleas to Central Government to ensure a smooth ride on the roads have fallen on deaf ears.
Maria Novelo - Reporter
“Some people might criticize that the material you are using to patch these holes is not the best fit, can the council do better?”
Kevin Bernard - MAYOR, OWT
“I would want to say that we have been procuring tar in some areas and what we did recently we use a little of all-in and some bowlers because we want to alleviate those issues, the weather does not permit us to put down tar, this reason why residence will see that in some areas we have been using the all-in material at least to alleviate the driving condition it is not the final preparation we are just putting those temporarily especially on the main roads we are going to be putting down tar, we are actually right now awaiting the supplier to procure us some more tar and as soon as weather holds up we are going to procede.”
We are sure that during these financially difficult times, the last thing drivers need to add to their already high cost of living is a car damaged by road conditions. Residents are concerned there may be an accident due to the bad road surface and call on Central Government for assistance to properly resurface or pave the roads to avoid potential accidents.
The council says that mere promises won't fill potholes but action on the ground regularly will.
Reporting for CTV3 News I am Maria Novelo.
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