Owner of tug and barge pays approx. $16.5M for damaging Harbour Bridge

Safety comes first" says Harbour boss as several 8hrs closures planned

The owner of a tug and barge which crashed into the Demerara Harbour Bridge on December 09, 2020 has paid approximately $16.5M for the repairs, according to the Ministry of Public Infrastructure.

The vessel –Rediston and Surtrans – collided with the southern section of the Demerara Harbour Bridge High-Span causing a major disruption of vehicular traffic.

Subsequently, an agreement was signed between the Demerara Harbour Bridge Corporation and owner of the vessel, Mr. Deonarine Sookram with a payment plan which requires Mr. Sookram to make an initial payment upon signing and the balance in quarterly instalments until full payment is made.

The Ministry said the final payment was made on March 1, 2021 ahead of the agreed deadline.

Investigations revealed that the tug and the barge were attempting to cross under the bridge before 6pm. Reports are that the current was not in their favour and they lost control as the vessel approached the bridge. The barge, which was loaded with bauxite, was heading to John Fernandes wharf in Georgetown.

As a result of the crash, the bridge was shifted out of alignment. During the repairs, seven anchor chains were reconnected and a buoy was replaced.

The Government in the 2021 National Budget allocated  $890M to replace 20 pontoons and complete rehabilitation works on the retractor span 9 the Demerara Harbour Bridge.

(Image Demerara Harbour Bridge, Photo Credit: Things Guyana)