THA moves to tackle Bad Rock landslip

An aerial view of the persistent landslip at Bad Rock, Belle Garden. - DIQUD
An aerial view of the persistent landslip at Bad Rock, Belle Garden. - DIQUD

THE Tobago House of Assembly (THA) is moving to resolve what it called the “critical failure” of the slope and retaining structures at Bad Rock, Belle Garden.

Over the past month, Bad Rock has experienced significant land slippage owing to persistent adverse weather conditions. In light of the ongoing risks to public safety, the road remains closed to light- and medium-weight vehicles.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Division of Infrastructure, Quarries and Urban Development said its strategy to address the issues at Bad Rock involves extensive construction, road expansion and erosion control in the area and the simultaneous construction of a 300m x 7m connector road from Iron Ridge, Zion Hill to Long Bed, Belle Garden.

It said based on a preliminary assessment, the possibility of blasting and excavation of the rock face embankment at Bad Rock is likely.

“The scope of works extends to but is not limited to erosion control measures; construction of retaining and drainage structures; installation of guard rails; and road widening and asphalting of the roadway,” it said.

The division quoted Chief Secretary Farley Augustine, at a news conference last Friday, as saying, “Those reports came back advising us that we had some solid rock surfaces there but very shallow top soil resting on top of these rocks. And as the rains come, the top soil will just keep sliding away.

“We have had to evacuate families from that hillside, out of the abundance of caution and in the last set of rains, we see land slippage happening on the seaside beneath the road to the point where there is an area where there is a shallow underneath the road.”

It further quoted Augustine as saying that the alternative road will become necessary “because the kinds of work that will be required at Bad Rock cannot be done in a week.

“It is even more threatening than what happened in Castara a few months ago, that we were able to remedy somewhat in quick time, so we have to provide an adequate alternative route while the long-term fix is happening at the Bad Rock area.”

The division said a comprehensive geotechnical survey will be undertaken next week, after which, the design phase should be completed within 20 days.

It added the construction of the connector road will begin during the surveying and design phase, approximately 45 days before the commissioning of Bad Rock road expansion works.

“This is to allow for adequate provisions to be made for traffic management and other logistics, towards limiting inconvenience to residents and the motoring public.”

The division said it intends to meet with residents and stakeholders before the works begin. A subsequent correspondence updating the public on the approval and date for meetings will be released, it added.

Earlier this month, area representative and Deputy Chief Secretary Dr Faith BYisrael said the landslides have disrupted the lives of residents in the area. "It is an inconvenience, because that is the way we normally travel, but we have to ensure life, limb and property is secured."

She added, "You recognise, that area we've had landslips for quite sometime. This seems to be the more serious we have seen it in a couple years so we do have to look at a longer-term solution."


"THA moves to tackle Bad Rock landslip"

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