Bridge collapsed, bureaucracy slow? Cretans construct makeshift road
The church bells tolled and 500 residents of Alikianos flocked to protect the makeshift road they constructed with their own money after the historical Keritis bridge collapsed last month due to the severe rainfalls last month.
The locals decided to take the situation in their hands. A group of construction workers gathered in the evening and started to ‘build.”
The next morning the road was ready and everybody was happy. Except for local authorities that demanded the prosecutor’s intervention.
Tuesday morning, locals got the tip the prosecutor would arrive and forbid them to use the road.
They complained that after the bridge collapsed they have to use diversion, a road of 8 long kilometers in order to reach Chania.
The locals gathered at the riverbed of Alikianos and waited for the authorities.
No prosecutor arrived but a police car. The locals surrounded the officers who tried to calm them down. They came here just to regulate traffic so that engineers and construction teams can proceed with the installation of a portable, pre-fabricated Bailey bridge, they said.
The locals did not calm down and shouted that prefecture authorities are “unwanted” in the area. They blamed them for the delays in reconnecting Alikianos with surrounding areas and Chania as well as for the statement of vice governor that the road they constructed was illegal.
The priest of the village stressed that “the makeshift road aims to facilitate the locals who have been in trouble since a month and they have to drive around for 10 km longer” in order to reach the capital of the prefecture.
They speak of a “small Odyssey” to reach Chania.
They demanded that the prosecutor investigates the reasons for which the historic bridge collapsed.
“They didn’t clean the river for years, they drowned the people and destructed their properties,” an elderly woman told police officers.
The emblematic 111-year-old Keritis Bridge collapsed in front of the camera on February 25, 2019.
What if the makeshift road is “illegal” and “dangerous” it was constructed without a study.What if the new road including the vehicles on it can be swept away in the next strong rainfall.
Locals are in a hurry and cannot wait for the slow Greek bureaucracy.
Despite the anger and the outrage, the protest quickly turned into a small fiesta, as only Cretans know how to celebrate.