Famous road in state of disrepair

Drivers appeal for pothole repairs on Hamilton Road

SORAN — The onset of winter has rendered the Gali Ali Beg Road, more commonly known as the Hamilton Road, perilous due to the emergence of numerous potholes. This deterioration has heightened the risk of traffic accidents, with drivers struggling to navigate the unpredictable terrain.

In response, several concerned motorists have contacted 964media, voicing their anxieties and calling for immediate intervention from the authorities to address the hazardous conditions. Despite these appeals, officials have suggested that repair efforts may be delayed until the winter season concludes.

Wali Omar, a regular commuter on the route, expressed his frustrations to 964media, stating, “The road is riddled with potholes, complicating our journeys. We hope our plea for repairs is heard through your outlet.”

The severity of the potholes is such that vehicles risk significant damage, particularly to their tires, upon traversing them. Additionally, the necessity to dodge these obstructions has inadvertently increased the likelihood of collisions.

Khusrat Sadq, Soran’s director general of road maintenance, acknowledged the complications on the Hamilton Road, attributing them to the wear and tear of the aging asphalt compounded by winter’s toll. Sadq noted, “The absence of asphalt during the colder months stalls any remedial work until the arrival of spring.”

He further revealed that a request for cold asphalt—a material not presently available in Kurdistan—had been made to the Ministry of Construction and Housing, although approval and procurement remain pending.

Cold asphalt can be used for road repairs and paving at lower temperatures compared to traditional hot-mix asphalt. Unlike hot-mix asphalt, which requires high temperatures for mixing and compaction, cold asphalt is mixed and applied at ambient temperatures. It is particularly useful for quick road repairs, filling potholes, and patching in colder weather when hot asphalt cannot be used effectively due to rapid cooling.

The Hamilton Road holds significant historical and economic importance within the Kurdistan Region. Originally constructed in the 1920s under the guidance of Archibald Hamilton, a New Zealand-born engineer, this route was engineered to facilitate direct travel from Erbil to the Iranian border. Over the decades, it has evolved into a crucial commercial conduit, linking the autonomous Soran district with Erbil and extending to the Haji Omran border crossing, thereby playing a pivotal role in the region’s trade and transportation network. Its current state of disrepair not only disrupts local commerce but also serves as a stark reminder of the challenges facing infrastructure maintenance in the face of natural wear and adverse weather conditions.

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