Opinions

Breaking News

“The Road to Development is Road,” Caldwell Bridge Yesterday and Today

Jacob N. B. Parley (jacobtheancestor@yahoo.com)
The Jacob Melton Bridge Today  and Before (Formerly The Caldwell Bridge)
The Jacob Melton Bridge Today and Before (Formerly The Caldwell Bridge)

I have heard from developmentalists and others, concerned with improving the living standards of people through accessed road, that the road to development is road.

The first time I heard this expression, “The road to development is road”, I was actually confused.

However, what I keep seeing, especially the rehabilitation of damaged roads, or the construction of new ones, have given me a better understanding of why road is strongly believed to be the road to development. 

While I agree that development entails not only the construction of roads, but equally so essential human necessities, including  electricity, modern hospitals, schools, jobs, improved housing, among others.

The Author: Jacob N. B. Parley (+231886560455)

I think the argument; the road to development is road, makes a lot of sense.  The wisdom in this adage continues to be demonstrated in many areas, the Township of Caldwell being of no exception.

Take for instance; people walked very long distances many years back to get to Belle Yella in Gbarpolu County. But today, accessed road has changed the story in positive ways. 

These ways include increased commercial activities, as I have been told, since we left from there in 2013 during the Independence Day Celebration.

Also, people found it difficult to get to the port City of Buchanan, because of   the then deplorable condition of the road leading to the city. Today, the story has changed, because the road is now paved.

There is a vehicle parking station not far from LBS Fence, where hundreds of commuters usually gather on a daily basis to be transported to Buchanan, Grand Bassa County. I am told that there are people who leave from Buchanan on a daily basis to come to work in Monrovia.

 The Changing Face of Caldwell

Prior to the rehabilitation of the Jacob Melton Bridge and the pavement of the road leading to the Township, people used to also find it very difficult to easily access the area.

I guess everyone who knows the story will agree with me that Caldwell Township was like a troubled area, because of   the constraints the people went through at the time.  Today, Caldwell continues to attract thousands of individuals, including business people. 

Before the Jacob Melton Bridge, (formerly Caldwell Bridge), could be constructed, I am told that some people were hesitant to reside in Caldwell.

Business people were finding it hard to also move into the community, while those who have been living there had earlier expressed frustration, because of the challenges they encountered.  One of such challenges was commercial drivers’ alleged unwillingness to ply the route at the time.

The bridge was a one-way passage point, a condition that was time- consuming for a huge population always in haste to get to many places, especially during the busy morning hours.

Before the construction of the new bridge, the old one became an obvious death trap.   Media reports and other accounts from residents of and visitors to Caldwell revealed how a number of fatal accidents, involving several pedestrians, took place on top of the bridge at various time intervals.

One of the incidents that attracted my attention so much was about a female resident of Caldwell and also a University of Liberia student who allegedly slipped off the bridge and fell into the rusty iron-infested water while being conveyed across the facility on a motorcycle.

According to the story, the motorcyclist was trying to give a car chance to pass in the middle of the then narrow bridge when they slipped and fell into the water.

A local daily reported at the time that the motorcyclist tried to get the student out of the water, but to no avail as she got hooked apparently by an object in the water and, regrettably, she got drowned in the process. 

But today the pavement of the road, the construction of a new bridge and the presence of electricity along the route, have all helped in giving Caldwell Township a new face and meaning.

Before the Jacob Melton Bridge, (formerly Caldwell Bridge), could be constructed, I am told that some people were hesitant to reside in Caldwell.

Business people were finding it hard to also move into the community, while those who have been living there had earlier expressed frustration, because of the challenges they encountered.  One of such challenges was commercial drivers’ alleged unwillingness to ply the route at the time.

The bridge was a one-way passage point, a condition that was time- consuming for a huge population always in haste to get to many places, especially during the busy morning hours.

Before the construction of the new bridge, the old one became an obvious death trap.   Media reports and other accounts from residents of and visitors to Caldwell revealed how a number of fatal accidents, involving several pedestrians, took place on top of the bridge at various time intervals.

One of the incidents that attracted my attention so much was about a female resident of Caldwell and also a University of Liberia student who allegedly slipped off the bridge and fell into the rusty iron-infested water while being conveyed across the facility on a motorcycle.

According to the story, the motorcyclist was trying to give a car chance to pass in the middle of the then narrow bridge when they slipped and fell into the water.

A local daily reported at the time that the motorcyclist tried to get the student out of the water, but to no avail as she got hooked apparently by an object in the water and, regrettably, she got drowned in the process. 

But today the pavement of the road, the construction of a new bridge and the presence of electricity along the route, have all helped in giving Caldwell Township a new face and meaning.

  

                       The Paved Road in Caldwell

I recently paid a visit for the first time to the area since the Jacob Melton Bridge was dedicated in 2015.
The once troubled Township is now experiencing development in the area of housing.

Seeing me in the community taking a few shots with my camera, a female passerby said: “Oh! You journalists can’t ever pass by something. The same way you people can report the bad ones, you must also learn to report the good ones, too. So, thank you for coming to our Township.”

I smiled, greeted her and went ahead taking pictures of the wonderful scenes created by the newly constructed bridge and paved road, and the newly erected sparkling electro lights along the street.

The current face of Caldwell Township due to the newly constructed Jacob Melton Bridge, a paved road and electricity convinces me that indeed, the Road to Development is Road.

Let me also seize this opportunity to appeal to all of us, especially residents of Caldwell to help maintain these facilities, provided by our government and partners in the face of resource constraints.

It shows high degree of unpatriotism and lack of love for a country every time people declare war on public facilities in the name of "popular advocacy," or  demonstrations to  "draw national attention" to issues affecting them.

These vices have the propensity to discourage friendly countries and institutions from assisting us to restore the lost years eaten by the locusts.

May the Caldwell experience touch other needy, or hard-to reach communities across Liberia.
Once again, I wish to commend the Liberian Government and our “partners-in-progress” for always identifying with us.

The author holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Development Diplomacy from the Gabriel L. Dennis Foreign Service Institute

 


© Copyright 2012 Mylbsonline.com All Rights Reserved.