8-hour shutdown of Harbour Bridge this weekend to replace worn retractor spans
The Demerara Harbour Bridge (DHB) will be closed to all vehicular traffic on November 13th and 14th in order to restore two major components – retractor spans 9’ and 10’ which are critical to the aged structure’s functionality.
In a public missive, the DHB management explained that the bridge will be closed from 9:00pm on Saturday to 5:00am on Sunday.
Earlier in the year, a multi-million dollar contract was awarded to Industrial Fabrication (INFAB) to repair and replace the damaged retractor spans which facilitate the daily openings for seagoing vessels; both are said to absorb the most “wear and tear”.
The notice said that INFAB has completed its offsite design and fabrication works and is now ready to work on-site. These works will result in the opening of the retractor spans.
“It will be extremely unsafe to commute during this time,” the notice outlined.
“The Management of the Demerara Harbour Bridge Corporation is conscious of the inconvenience this closure will cause but in the interest of safety, Spans 9 and 10 have to be rehabilitated without delay,” the DHBC said.
It was explained that the general objective of the rehabilitation project is to restore the retractor spans by eliminating the existing structural deficiencies and reconstruct retractor spans 9 so as to improve the bridge’s condition, geometrics, safety and load-carrying capacity.
INFAB is required to supply, deliver, install, test, commission and transport, and carry out assembly with all necessary permits, ancillary, and work systems, whether expressly indicated or not.
Repair works are also being carried out on the anchorage of the structure to the tune of $500 million.
General Manager of the Bridge, Wayne Watson had told the News Room that the last time major maintenance works were carried out there, was back in 2008.
Now more than 10 years later down the line, the anchorage is in dire need of repairs. The 43-year-old structure has already outlived its lifespan and is showing signs of serious wear and tear.
For years, the Harbour Bridge has been plagued with mechanical issues and accidents, causing chaos at both ends as thousands of commuters rush to cross, resulting in major traffic congestion.
But plans are moving apace with the construction of the new high span, four-lane Harbour Bridge.