Demerara Harbour Bridge to undergo major maintenance in third quarter

Last Updated on Monday, 11 July 2016, 18:41 by Denis Chabrol

The Demerara Harbour Bridge (DHBC) will again undertake substantial maintenance works similar in nature to that which it had undergone earlier in the year. This time work will be done to the western half in the third quarter of 2016.

Authorities said the dates during which the maintenance would be done would be publicised as soon as they are finalized.

These works will be done to the retractor span which allows large marine vessels to go up and down the river, and will last for four to five days.

The extra-large pontoons at the retractor span will be replaced. This will result in the bridge being closed to marine traffic for that period.

General Manager, DHBC, Rawlston Adams told the Government Information Agency (GINA) that, “Only one half of the bridge will be opened to allow large vessels to pass.”

“We’re awaiting the delivery of a second pontoon (hollow metal cylinder used with others to support a temporary bridge or floating landing stage) to do exactly the same work on the western end of the bridge so once the pontoon is delivered, which should be sometime in the third quarter in the year, we will execute that work,” Adams said.

The sum of $150M will be spent on the bridge for continued maintenance this year.

On July 8, the DHBC received Cabinet’s approval for $51M to rehabilitate pontoons and fabricate buoys, Adams noted. “We are currently awaiting approval from the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB) to forward to Cabinet for us to start other works.”

Additionally, Adams pointed out that there continues to be an increase in traffic on the bridge which can only change, “until something more happens in terms of building either another bridge.”

He further explained that as the economy grows, more persons are relocating to Region Three. ‘They buy /import new vehicles, increasing traffic, and that poses a challenge to us with respect to traffic management.”

However, the corporation’s approach to managing the increased traffic is to engage the Guyana Police Force (GPF) for its assistance in traffic management, getting timely information to the public and requesting commuters to try as much as possible to be on time before the bridge retractions.

In April 2016, the DHBC was closed for six hours, for maintenance works on a pontoon which had to be changed as part of a menu of works that has to be completed during the course of this year.

The bridge  is a vital link for commuters between Regions Three and Four.