Repairs to DHB to start Thursday morning; only vehicles up to 12 tons can cross

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Repairs on the Demerara Harbour Bridge will commence at 04:00h on Thursday and will last all day, way into the evening, the Ministry of Public Works has announced.

While the repairs are ongoing, the bridge can only accommodate vehicles weighing up to 12 tons. As such, the public is being advised that while everything is being done to restore normalcy, only essential travel is encouraged while businesses and commercial users are asked to delay the movement of goods and supplies at least by 24 hours.

The Public Works Ministry reported that a tug and barge with the name “Rediston and Surtrans” and operated by Dale Andrews Green, collided with, and damaged several sections in the vicinity of the high span of the bridge at around 16:38h on Wednesday.

The barge which crashed into the Demerara Harbour Bridge (Photo: Public Works Ministry)

The ministry listed the series of events below:

The Demerara Harbour Bridge Corporation hereby inform the public, that at approximately 16:38hrs on Wednesday 9th December 2020, Motor Tug and Barge named “Rediston and Surtrans” operated by Mr. Dale Andrews Green, collided with, and damaged several sections in the vicinity of the high span of the bridge.

The bridge was immediately closed to vehicular traffic and after some immediate interventions, at approximately 05:40hr the bridge was reopened to light vehicular traffic.

Engineers and the technical team operating with the challenge of the dark conducted an initial assessment and the following determinations and actions were taken: –

  • An emergency meeting was held at the DHBC Boardroom comprising of the Chairman, Ravie Ramcharitar, Honorable Bishop Juan Edghill, Minister of Public Works, supported by Honorable Robeson Benn, Minister of Home Affairs, Mr. Rawlston Adams, the General Manager and Technical Team. The Collective decision made after due consideration of all the information that was available was that at approximately 21:00hrs the bridge will begin to facilitate vehicular traffic up to 12tons which is the tonnage of an empty double axel lorry.
  • Contact was made with the owner/agent of the tug and barge. At 04:00hrs on December 10, 2020, a meeting has been convened at the Boardroom with representatives of the owner/agents of the tug and barge to facilitate an inspection of the damages which is necessary before remedial emergency repairs begin.
  • The team, equipment and spares to effect the repairs have been mobilized and will begin physical work at approximately 04:00hrs on 10th December 2020, and it is proposed that they will work late into the evening to complete this exercise. Because of the damage to the alignment to the bridge, the 10th December 2020 scheduled 01:00hrs opening to facilitate marine traffic has been cancelled. We anticipate that at 13:00hrs on the 10th December 2020 marine crossing to be available. The public is being advised that while everything is being done to restore normalcy, we encourage only essential travel and we kindly ask businesses and commercial users to delay at least by 24hrs the movement of goods and supplies since during the period of repairs we will only be able to accommodate vehicles up to 12tons.
  • Please note that the non-payment of the toll which was instituted on December 9, 2020, was only a temporary measure to expedite the flow and reduce the backup of vehicular traffic.

Management regrets any inconvenience caused. We thank you for your understanding and all efforts will be made to keep the public informed of further developments.

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