Front Page
October 4, 2011
New concerns about reconstructed Jack’s wall

Questions are beginning to surface over the structural integrity of a recently constructed retaining wall, built to replace one that collapsed in September 2008, killing a 67-year-old woman.{{more}}

The northbound lane at Ratho Mill, near to where the wall collapsed, which had been closed for over two years, was reopened less than three months ago, on July 20, after reconstruction of the wall was completed.

But, according to Minister of Transport and Works, Senator Julian Francis, the issue of the material used to back fill the retaining wall continues to be a “major bone of contention” between the Jacks

(the property owners), their project manager and the Ministry of Works.

Francis, in his response to Opposition Parliamentarian Dr Godwin Friday in the House of Assembly last Thursday, said that it was of great importance to acquire the appropriate material to be used for back fill when constructing retaining walls.

“This is one of the major causes of the collapse of back walls,” Francis said.

He added that this was one of the issues with the collapse of the Jack’s wall.

“If a back wall is not filled with the proper material, it is going to collapse again,” the minister of Works explained.

“And that matter with the Jack’s wall, you would see that it is complete, but I’ll say to you now, that we have to excavate some of that material that is behind that wall right now and put in proper back filling,” Francis said, adding that this was in keeping with specifications that had come from the University of the West Indies.

On Friday, September 19, 2008, the retaining wall came tumbling down on Patricia Jack-Bowman killing her in her vehicle.

A major contributor to the tragedy was the eight inches of rainfall that was recorded over a 48-hour period.

The rain was caused by the passing of a tropical wave which interacted with a trough system between Thursday, September 18 and Saturday, September 20, 2008.

A Coroner’s Inquest into Jack-Bowman’s death ended with a five-member jury ruling that the cause of her death was manslaughter, a result of negligence on the part of the engineer and contractors who constructed the wall. (DD)