Marine vessels likely to stay docked as Harbour Bridge hurries to fix unexpected problem

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Marine vessels are likely to stay docked until the Demerara Harbour Bridge Corporation (DHBC) fixes a problem with the mechanism that allows the bridge to retract.  The issue was discovered when the bridge was closed for six hours on Saturday, October 28, for general repairs to one of the pontoons.

General Manager, Rawlston Adams told reporters during a press conference Monday, October 30, 2017, that the DHBC already found that a gearbox is the source of the problem and its team is working assiduously to find a solution with the aim of having the bridge opened to vessels tomorrow.

Adams said the Corporation will be meeting with shipping companies on Tuesday to update them on whether the bridge will be retracted. The main winch, which is responsible for opening and closing the bridge, is no longer holding against the pressure of the structure. Adams said the motor was changed but then it was discovered that there is a problem with the gearbox which allows the fast-spinning motor to retract the bridge at a slow pace.

The General Manager said the DHBC has already engaged a company for a replacement of the faulty part and he hopes that the issue will be rectified by tomorrow.

“We don’t know the extent of the damage so as of now, we have no idea as to what this would cost. We are now diagnosing the problem,” Adams stated.

Approximately four vessels transporting a variety of items including oil, fuel, sand and bauxite traverse under the bridge on daily basis. This problem will not affect vehicular traffic.

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