WHAT began as a small, barely visible crack in the middle of Abraham Lane off Upper Pashley Street in Laventille, two weeks ago, has turned into a major and land slippage, so much so, that walls and a tree at the side of the road have collapsed and vehicular traffic cannot use it.
Irate residents, inconvenienced by the damaged road, alerted Newsday to their plight on Sunday. They are fearing that the slippage could continue and pose a threat to nearby houses.
Residents are calling on MP Fitzgerald Hinds along with the Ministry of Works and Transport to help them with the necessary repairs.
Resident Anderson Baptiste told Newsday that two weeks ago, residents noticed a small crack in the road.
“We saw the crack in the road. In the morning when we passed it was small but in the afternoon when we checked again it was a little bigger. At that time we said we should move the vehicles parked on the street.”
“But at about 3 am on that Saturday we heard a loud crash. When we checked we saw that the entire wall had fallen since the road had basically collapsed,” Baptiste said.
The wall of a resident who lives off on the left of the road had collapsed. On the right of the road, another retaining wall also fell, into the back yard of another person's property. Baptiste said the road had dropped by as much as two feet and moved four feet to the right.
“There are elderly people in the area who depend on vehicles to get them to and fro and with the road now impassable, they are basically stuck in their homes. My father is a 74-year-old man with Parkinson's. If there is an emergency he cannot run for himself. I would have to pick him up physically," Baptiste said.
Another resident ,Alfred Douglas, told Newsday that the slippage and subsequent collapse of walls on the side of Abraham Lane had made it very difficult for him to access his home.
"We had to cut some stairs around the side of the yard so that we could get access to the road,” He said. “We can’t pass to the front of the house any more,” Douglas said.
The residents thanked their councillor Adanna Griffith, saying she responded quickly by having a team of surveyors come and assess the damage. The surveyors said the damage was so great it needed intervention from the Works and Transport Ministry rather than the Port of Spain City Corporation.
“For them to pass the job on to the Ministry of Works, we were told we had to get in contact with Minister Hinds. We tried many times to get on to him, but to no avail,” Baptiste said.
Residents believe the problem originated from poor drainage higher up, on Calvary Hill.