General Manager of the Demerara Harbour Bridge Corporation (DHBC),Rawlston Adams said at a press conference Friday at Peter’s Hall that works, which include the installation of key pivots at the eastern and western ends of the bridge, will see heavy traffic such as heavy trucks being unable to use the bridge.
He said that engineering teams from the DHBC will work on spans 1 and 2 on the eastern side and at spans 59 and 60 at the western extremity at Schoonord.
Adams said that as a result of the works, the six special crossings, which are undertaken to facilitate heavy traffic , will be restricted this weekend. He told the media that the preparatory works , which he deemed as being very costly , lasted some four months including dredging of the areas where works will be carried out tomorrow .
“The bridge will be open to normal traffic, we will have the normal retraction but restricted to heavy traffic”, Adams stated. He added that the cost of the works lies in the vicinity of GUY$5M and according to him a majority of the monies were expended on dredging operations.
As regards traffic which traverse the bridge daily, he said that there has been an 8% growth over the past four years. He added that the bridge is not raking in sufficient revenues since the company continues to rely government’s subventions .He said close to $1B is being spent on the bridge annually.
Meantime , Adams said that a replacement for the existing structure is still being considered as three options which include placement of a new structure at New Hope, East Bank Demerara to connect to Patentia ,West Bank Demerara or Versailles, West Bank Demerara to connect Houston, East Bank Demerara are being examined at the level of the Works Ministry after a pre-feasibility study was undertaken.
The DHB has been undergoing annual maintenance which has been a major bugbear to the administration .The bridge, which is one of the largest floating structures in the world, has already outlived its usefulness since its 30-year lifespan has already evolved.
A fixed high level structure is being mulled as its likely replacement.