The Demerara Harbour Bridge (DBH) will be closed to vehicular traffic between 21:00h and 5:00h on Saturday night to replace two worn retractor spans.
In a notice on Thursday, the DHB said the Retractor Spans 9 &10, which are retracted daily for sea-going vessels, is the most critical section of the bridge which absorbs the most wear and tear.
It noted that earlier this year, a contract was awarded to Industrial Fabrications Inc. (InFab) for the design, fabrication and installation of Retractor Span 9. The company has since completed their offsite design and fabrication works and is now ready to work onsite i.e., to remove and replace damaged components.
The DHB management further stated that it will be extremely unsafe to commute during this time.
According to the Notice, “the general objective of the Rehabilitation project is to restore the retractor spans by eliminating the existing structural deficiencies and reconstruct retractor span 9 so as to improve the bridge’s condition, geometrics, safety, and load-carrying capacity.”
While the management noted that it is conscious of the inconvenience this closure will cause to commuters, it stated that “in the interest of safety, Spans 9 and 10 have to be rehabilitated without delay.”
The DHB closes daily for the passage of ocean-going vessels and frequently for long periods on the weekends to facilitate rehabilitation works. This cuts off access to major healthcare and other services from residents in Region Three who are required to travel to Georgetown.
To solve this problem, the Government recently approved China State Construction Engineering Corporation Ltd. to construct the much anticipated four-lane bridge across the Demerara River at a cost of $53.5B (US$256.6 million). The new bridge is expected to dramatically reduce the inconvenience caused to persons living on the West side. Further, it will offer easy connectivity to both the existing East Bank Demerara road as well as the new Diamond to Ogle bypass on the eastern side of the River and to the existing West Bank Demerara Road and the new Parika to Schoonord Road on the western side of the River.