East End residents are bemoaning the state of Longmat Hill more than two weeks after island concrete companies started repair work on the heavily-damaged roadway.
On Wednesday, March 28, workers from Majestic Concrete and Centerline Concrete collaborated with Department of Public Works employees and began the process of removing some of the concrete spilled on the steep hill.
The repair work took place after concrete company representatives met with St. John Administrator Leona Smith and agreed to tackle the numerous concrete spills across the island.
Despite the initial road work — focused on breaking up and removing hardened spilled concrete — the road is just as bad as it was before, according to residents who live on the island’s remote East End.
“An Absolute Mess”
“The road is an absolute mess,” said one East End resident. “You can not stay in your lane. One day somebody is going to have a head-on collision because you have to go into the other lane.”
“It’s just as unsafe as it was before,” the resident added.
The spilled concrete displaces run-off which further undermines the roadway, the resident explained.
“When they make those big elephant turds of concrete on the side of the road the water is diverted and doesn’t drain properly,” said the resident. “The run-off then causes more damage to the road. They need to clean those elephant turds up.”
Concrete company representatives, however, contend they completed the portion of the road work which was required of them.
Not Responsible for Patching Road
“We did the removal of the spilled concrete and in doing such, I’m sure we did some unavoidable damage to the asphalt,” said Eric Tillett, owner of Centerline Concrete. “Part of the whole agreement was that Public Works would do the patching. We don’t have any equipment or anything to do asphalt repair with.”
Department of Public Works St. John Deputy Director Ira Wade did not return repeated St. John Tradewinds phone calls requesting comment regarding Longmat Hill repairs.
In the meantime, Longmat Hill remains a dangerously damaged steep roadway which is difficult to traverse.
Second Meeting Planned
Up next, concrete company owners are planning a follow-up meeting with Smith.
“We’ll reconvene a meeting with Administrator Smith and the other concrete companies,” said Tillett. “We want to have a pow-wow and go over what went right and what went wrong. Hopefully everything will go more smoothly next time.”
An East End resident had a bit of advice to the concrete companies for their next spill repair.
“It’s great they started the work, but they need to finish,” said the resident.
The site of the next concrete spill repair has not been scheduled yet.