25 February 2008

Carbonell HELL!

I brought it up in July of 2006.

And again in May of 2007.

And here We are, late February 2008 and I'm here to tell you: Carbonell Street is in worse shape--by far--than it ever was.

Now the street is blocked at the small curve where it meets Cabo Rojo's "gateway", just up from the Banco Popular and across the street from two small bars that trade patrons like flies. Can't drive through there most of the time, for there's only one lane left and that is so craggy and misshapen it resembles the remnants of 6.8 Richter Scale aftershock.

The new "project": A trench, 5 feet wide, almost 70 feet long and nine feet deep. That was supposed to have been dug 2 years ago.

Do I need to drive on or past this street every day? No. In fact, I go weeks without using Carbonell as anything but an example of FUBAR. For in fact, it is all that and a bag of buffalo chips: Carbonell Street is an unimpeachable example of greedy incompetence and of the butt-buddy system that pervades government and business in Puerto Rico.

Here's a length of roadway that covers about 250,000 square feet (about 0.7 miles long and by My generous estimate averaging about 65 feet in width) that has been under "construction" since mid-2004 with no other major goal in sight.  No new buildings have been added to that stretch since this putrid thievery of public funds began.  No electrical, telephone or cable TV cables have been placed underground.

In fact, only a 200-foot stretch of concrete pipe was placed for better drainage back in 2006. And the SAME pipe was replaced in 2007. And in those nearly four years of roadway robbery, the quality of Carbonell Street is so pathetic one can confidently state that whatever its name was back when Cabo Rojo was officially founded in the 18th century, it was in better shape.

I've asked experienced road construction companies how much they can do in a day and their estimate is 30,000 to 60,000 cubic feet a day. Give Carbonell Street a million cubic feet and one could expect the work to be done in 50-60 days (at less than 20,000 cubic feet a day.) Let a 6-man work crew do it by hand and they can average 4,000 cubic feet a day and finish the damn thing in 250-280 days.

With massive equipment, sometimes 16 people in a "work" crew, over 1,400 days and a budget that has moved into the millions, and what do We have? A dirt road, a muddy trench and an eyesore that reeks of theft.

And that's just one stretch of road in a town once-led by a sexually-ambivalent mayor. Imagine what else is going on in the 77 other towns of Our Puerto Rico.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

Update: 3 March: The street is now completely blocked, as the trench became an impact crater that took out the meager sidewalks as well.  Woo-hoo!

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