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Work to repair fallen wall to get underway soon

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Staff at a group home for people with mental disabilities on Bluff Lane, Pembroke carry groceries after a collapsed wall blocked access for months (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Work is under way to fix a wall on a private lane that has blocked access to a home for people with mental disabilities for months.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Public Works said that, because the wall was on a private lane, it was the responsibility of the residents to fix.

But he added that the Government was working with residents to repair the damage at Bluff Lane, Pembroke and had drawn up a new design.

The move came after residents complained that barricades around the gap in the wall had blocked traffic.

They said that cars and other vehicles had been unable to drive up the lane and forced residents, including the staff at the group home at the end of the street, to walk up the lane, often carrying heavy shopping or other items.

Heinz Roser, 52, who lives in the area, added that he looked after his 75-year-old mother who suffered from health problems and feared that an ambulance would not be able to assist if needed.

He said: “My house is right across from where the road collapsed – if my mom needs the ambulance’s assistance then that’s going to be a problem.

“She’s pretty much bedridden right now – she could get up and use the bathroom, but she’s got a heart condition, she’s diabetic and she’s also on dialysis.”

A collapsed wall on Bluff Lane, Pembroke, that prevents residents from driving to their homes (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Mr Roser said the wall collapsed in mid-January after heavy rain and had been cordoned off by the Department of Works & Engineering.

He added that the barricades allowed enough space for motorcycles to use the road, but blocked service vehicles such as trash trucks.

Mr Roser said cracks in the roadway had been filled in to prevent further damage, but nothing else had been done.

He added residents with cars had to park their vehicles at the bottom of the lane, which could cause accidents.

He said: “I heard from one of my neighbours that there was an accident due to the overload of cars down there.”

Mr Roser added: “It’s crazy because that’s a residential area and to have all of those cars parked on the roadside like that can cause hindrances, especially in the morning when traffic’s heavy.”

A collapsed wall on Bluff Lane, Pembroke, that prevents residents from driving to their homes (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

The ministry spokesman said: “To avoid undue delays in affecting the repairs, the Government also proceeded to carry out the design using the most expedient and economical method of construction.”

He added that the position of the wall on the side of a hill made it difficult to repair and that the ministry would struggle to find the required equipment and manpower.

But he said: “The design is now complete and the minister has instructed the ministry to assist the owners of the properties accessed from Bluff Lane in selecting and engaging a competent contractor to carry out the work in a safe and speedy manner to enable the proper use of this Private Road again.

“In the meantime, we are discussing the best way to proceed with the remedial works with a representative of the property owners.”

Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch, the public works minister, added: “Ownership of the wall aside, there was serious danger to life posed by the collapse and therefore the government took the immediate action of closing off the road to vehicles.”

He added: “We owe a debt of gratitude to the engineers and the team within the ministry for the prompt action taken to ensure that no injury or loss of life occurs in this area.

“It is hoped that the property owners will be able to effect the repairs very soon, and the ministry will provide further advice if required.”

A collapsed wall on Bluff Lane, Pembroke, that prevents residents from driving to their homes (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published March 17, 2021 at 8:11 am (Updated March 17, 2021 at 8:11 am)

Work to repair fallen wall to get underway soon

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