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Damaged harbour bridge restricted to light traffic from Tuesday – Minister Patterson

Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson said works on the severely-damaged Demerara Harbour Bridge (DHB) would be completed by the latest Tuesday morning, allowing for the resumption of light traffic flow across the Demerara River.

The minister gave an update on the situation at the DHB Monday morning on Guyana’s national, state-owned television and radio broadcasting corporation, National Communications Network.

He said the incident which occurred around 1 am Monday, saw a barge, which was being captained by non-English speaking nationals, slamming into the bridge causing severe damage to a section of its supporting structure.

At the time of the incident, a car while crossing the bridge was caught in the damaged area. The driver of the car is currently resting at home, after receiving medical attention, he related.

Minister Patterson said the damage to the bridge, while repairable, is extensive. In particular, he noted that the damaged anchorage points may take a little longer to repair since those works could only be carried out during the low tide.

Following the incident early Monday morning, residents reverted to the speed boat service at the Vreed-en-hoop Stelling. Minister Patterson said given the situation, permission has been given for the service to be extended later into the evening.

“The only access now that persons will have, are with motorcycles. We are still allowing them to cross and walk over the bridge,” he said.

Meanwhile, he assured that in any cases of emergency, the Guyana Maritime Administration (MARAD) could be contacted so that an emergency boat can be used from either side of the Demerara River.