Toppling ALP billboards spark safety concerns among residents; UPP joins the call for intervention from the DCA

The United Progressive Party (UPP) is supporting residents’ call for the Antigua Labour Party (ALP) either to take down or properly secure the dozens of billboards it has erected around the country.

Some of the structures, painted bright red, are massive – with one reportedly comprised of 32 sheets of plywood – and appear to be insufficiently supported by uprights. Of late, due to the heavy wind gusts, some of them have toppled over.

On Saturday, November 5, a billboard located directly outside the Chinese Embassy in McKinnons collapsed and fell onto the roadway. Residents point out that it could have caused serious injury to pedestrians and damage to vehicles.

This, reportedly, was the third such structure to have fallen onto or near a public thoroughfare.

Accordingly, the UPP is calling for an immediate intervention by the Development Control Authority (DCA) to address the unsafe and improper practices utilized to erect these billboards. The Party says they pose structural challenges and put the lives of citizens and residents at risk.
On October 26, photos of a partly uprooted ALP billboard located in St. Mary’s South went into circulation. This, reportedly, was the first incident.
After it buckled, the billboard did not fall to the ground. Rather, it was held back by the utility wires – averting serious injury to pedestrians and damage to vehicles and motorists passing on the main road through Bolans.
However, it created another danger, as persons noted that its weight could have caused the utility wires to snap and become a hazard for serious or fatal electric shock.
Reportedly, electricity to the area had to be disconnected until the massive billboard, erected next to the ALP branch office, could be removed from the power lines.
Meanwhile, on Sunday, strong winds caused high-tension wires in a Rural West community to begin sparking, which caused some residents to disconnect their electricity, fearing fires and damage to their appliances.