By Dana Al Emam – May 09,2016

AMMAN — Karak residents are complaining about the “poor” conditions of the roads in their governorate, an issue they say raises many questions regarding strategic planning and comprehensive development.

For them, the straw that broke the camel’s back was a car accident that took the life of a woman and injured another on Monday, as their car skidded off a steep hill.

Residents contacted by The Jordan Times linked the accident to “dangerous” road conditions, especially the old town road in the Marj area, which had been recently used as a detour for the Karak bridge for maintenance work.

Resident Khalil Farrayeh, who lives only 30m away from the bridge, said the bridge was constructed in the first place to replace the old and interconnected roads underneath it, adding that the roads lack organisation and traffic signs.

But last month, the bridge was closed off until further notice for maintenance, only after two years of the conclusion of its construction, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

Farrayeh complained that several officials in the governorate pass by the detour and ignore its poor condition, noting that putting metal fences or sand containers by the road could be a temporary measure to prevent cars from falling off the 80-metre cliff.

Meanwhile, he said the same area has witnessed several accidents over the past few years, and even when the construction of the bridge finished, it soon started to crack.

Community leader Khaled Dmour cited the bridge as one of several issues that show the lack of proper public services in the governorate, located 140km south of Amman, as well as inadequate planning.

He noted that residents feel that the bridge, with a cost exceeding JD10 million, was supposed to make their transportation easier as it connects several parts of the area, but it has not.

“All we could see during the construction of the bridge is a single loader truck and a few construction workers,” Dmour claimed, adding that the streets of the detour that is now used were built over 100 years ago during the rule of the Ottoman Empire.

He said the detour has “several sharp and dangerous curves”, and agreed with Farrayeh that several car accidents took place in the area.

Another issue, according to Dmour, is Karak’s new central bus terminal, which cost JD5 million, was created years ago but has not been operated as its location is “unsuitable for transport routes” and was not well planned.

He said the governorate had four governors over the past four years, adding that many Karak residents wonder who prepares these plans.

The head of the Public Works Directorate in Karak, Ragheb Sbeih, described Monday’s car accident as a “normal” one and as the first taking place in the area, adding that the detour poses no threat to the lives of motorists and residents.

Other officials from the governorate, the municipality and the Public Works Ministry were not available for comment.
– See more at: