More than $1B expended to repair Harbour Bridge
More than $1B was expended to repair the Demerara Harbour after a fuel vessel collided with it on Saturday last. This was revealed by Minister of Public Works, Juan Edghill at the sidelines of an event on Thursday.
When asked if the owner of the vessel will be footing the bill, Minister Edghill responded: “The government is very clear on this matter [with] the company and owners of the ship that is where we have already done all the necessary legal paperwork and the ship is under arrest, legally under arrest.”
The Harbour Bridge suffered the worst damage ever after the vessel collision and a Board of Inquiry has since been set up to investigate the incident.
Two days after the incident, the government managed to re-open the bridge to light vehicular traffic.
However, on Thursday, Edghill said repair works are still ongoing.
“While everybody is seeing traffic flowing, they [engineers] are still working miracles below, changing out pontoons, and doing all kinds of things while still facilitating the movement of people and goods to ensure that commerce keep moving,” Edghill said.
The repair works, he explained, “are things some engineers and technicians would want the bridge to be closed to do, but with proper planning, putting heads together we have not been able to do.”
But getting the bridge open for vehicular traffic is only one aspect of the functionality of the bridge.
Since its closure, the bridge has not opened for marine traffic.
“It is nowhere near finished, but significantly advanced. Great work is being done by the contractors.
“You have to get the bridge functional as well for marine traffic to be able to do the retraction to allow for the passage of boats; we have to be able to keep fuel coming into the country,” Edghill said.
He explained that a major crisis was averted with the re-opening of the bridge days after the incident.
“Getting garbage to the dumpsite from Region Three was becoming a major crisis. As a matter of fact, one service provider sent me notice that they may very well be putting in a claim, it cost them $3 million to get a pontoon to bring their trucks from Parika to Kingston,” Edghill explained.
He added: “When the bridge is out for a day it is unimaginable what happens in terms of our country.”
In the meantime, engineers are working to get the bridge working for marine traffic within the next 24 to 36 hours.
“We are hoping to get our first retraction maybe [Friday] or Saturday.”
One billion guyana dollars($1000 000 000)
We just build over a new bridge! Repair seems gentle next to the $1 bln.
The pilot is the $1 billion man !
Drunkeness on the job eh?