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Jansen-Webster Provides Update on “Sinkhole” at Cole Bay Hill

V. Jansen Webster Press

Acting Minister of VROMI Veronica Jansen-Webster, in keeping with her
remarks during the State of Affairs press briefing on Tuesday, 21 May 2024, provided an update
on the status of the “sinkhole” that was identified on the A.J.C. Brouwers’ road.
“First, I want to thank the public for their patience while the Department of Infrastructure
Management has worked on identifying solutions for this problem,” Jansen-Webster said in her
statement. “Second, after consulting with Chief of Staff Raeyhon Peterson and the Department
of Infrastructure Management, I can state that the repairs to rectify the road depression issue
will most likely take place in the second week of June. When the date for repairs is set, VROMI
will communicate road closures for an estimated time of 8:00 PM to 6:00 PM.”
Jansen-Webster explained that the culvert (concrete drain box) that is in the location of the road
depression that is currently covered by a metal plate. A culvert is a structure that channels water
so it flows past an obstacle or underground waterway; there are several along the A.J.C.
Brouwers Road.
“It is alarming that this possible failure of the culverts has been hinted to previous Ministers but
no action was taken,” Jansen-Webster stated. “The reconstruction of the damaged culvert at the
current road depression location will be done using what is called the “prefab format.” The
construction process takes 14 to 28 days before installation can safely be completed, otherwise
we risk collapse. Luckily, once the date is set, all works can be completed in one night.”
Jansen-Webster also cautioned that all other culverts along the A.J.C. Brouwers Road will be
inspected and their lifespan assessed so that future replacements can be planned. The Acting
Minister and her Chief of Staff are working on a maintenance plan that would allow the culverts
and other such structures to be assessed more frequently, thus avoiding the risk of their lifetime
expiring.
“According to my Chief of Staff, when he asked when last these structures were inspected, he
could not receive a uniform answer,” Jansen-Webster stated. “It’s possible they went more than
40 years without assessment, and these are the process gaps that we hoped to close.”

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