Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Jamaica Observer: Progressively Backward

At best, the Bog Walk Gorge is a scenic journey made possible by a combination of nature and a remarkable feat of engineering — at worst, it is death trap.

Being a long-time resident of St Catherine, I have plied the Bog Walk Gorge countless times. I believe that once you respect the road, there is no need to fear it. I accepted that many times it would be impassable due to acts of God — rain, landslides, waterfalls, flooding — and acts of man — accidents, road construction, traffic.

One fateful Sunday evening, with this respect for a roadway that was built in 1770 (and no, that is not a typo), I called ahead to the Spanish Town Police Station to ascertain if the road was open before embarking on my journey from Bog Walk.

With confirmation in hand, I set out. Hours of thunderous rain had made the journey difficult, but not impossible. I, along with hundreds of other drivers, safely traversed the roads from Bog Walk to Flat Bridge and just beyond. Then, the long line of traffic simply stopped... for two-andhalf hours.
It was pitch-black night. It was raining... and there was nowhere to go.

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