National Social Security & Welfare Corporation (NASSCORP), an insurance agency of government covering workers in Liberia, has begun a major road project on 24th Street, Sinkor, where it is also erecting a 5-storey building for future use.
The road is paved with concrete tar rather than asphalt, something experts say would last longer because the soil there hosts enough water that the concrete will be able to absorb.
According to the experts, using asphalt would cause cracks in the pavement and the road will damage soon.
The street, like the rest of the streets in the Sinkor belt, is to be paved by government, but an official of NASSCORP who spoke with this paper recently said the agency decided to underwrite the cost as part of its social responsibility to the people.
According to the official, NASSCORP works for the people and it collects taxes, therefore, “The people have to get in return the benefits of their taxes as part of the agency’s corporate social responsibility.”
Contractors constructing the road said earlier that the project would have stopped near the John F. Kennedy Medical Center Cholera Unit on 24th Street, but NASSCORP’s management reasoned that it should be extended downward to the beach so as to help residents in that area not to suffer from erosion and flood during the rainy season.
The road leading to the beach on 24th Street is on a slope, and during the rainy season running water that enters the nearby swamp usually causes the area to be flooded.
It may be recalled that in June 2014, many in the People United Community, between 20th and 24th Streets, were gravely affected by flood after long hours of rainfall.
Also in 2016 there was a repeat of the disaster and scores of people were affected, leading some to even move from the area.
As measurement was extended down to the community after ending the first phase of the road at the Cholera Unit, some residents were expressing delight over the development.
“We are happy that the road will come down here. It will really help us, and we don’t care how the measurement will affect us. All we know is that our road should come,” James Barlea, an elder of the community said.
Pains of development
While some are rejoicing for extension of the road project towards the beach, there are still others who, due to roadblocks, rained insults on the workers.
Some drivers living down the beach were recently heard insulting the contractors when they (contractors) lined measuring sticks and steel mats on the road in preparation of pavement.
Two men, during the day the first phase was completed, were also heard insulting the workers for blocking the road to prevent passage so that the watery concrete could solidify.
“I don’t know what kind of crazy people are these. Why can’t you complete one side and leave the other side for us to pass? You want to do all at once?”
This ongoing road project financed by NASSCORP is among other road projects in the Sinkor belt sponsored by government.
Beginning 10th Street to 18th Street, government is rehabilitating that belt with asphalt tar including the Payne and Horton Avenues.