Harbour Bridge on track for 3am re-opening; repair costs climb to more than $1B


Emergency repair works ongoing at the Demerara Harbour Bridge will be completed on or before 3 AM Monday but officials have warned that more repairs are needed and the cost to fix the old structure is climbing beyond the previously announced $1 billion sum.

On Sunday night, Public Works Minister, Juan Edghill and other officials inspected the repair works ongoing at span eight.

There, General Manager of the Demerara Harbour Bridge Corporation, Wayne Watson said the repairs would be completed as scheduled despite some setbacks encountered earlier Sunday.

This means that commuters will be able to traverse the structure that connects Regions Three and Four from 03:00hrs Monday.

While that was welcomed news, Watson said that the repairs spotlighted other issues with the bridge. And those issues, he said, will result in the cost of repairs to significantly increase.

The bridge was damaged after the Panama-registered oil tanker, MV Tradewind Passion, crashed into it in October last year and rendered it inoperable for several days. Soon after, Minister Edghill said it would cost about $1 billion to fix the bridge.

“My estimate, as I informed Minister (Edghill), is that we would have surpassed that… because now we are seeing other damages.

“That ($1 billion sum) was just when we did an initial evaluation… as we get into the works, we recognise that it is more than that,” Watson said.

Meanwhile, Edghill also announced that there will be another extended closure in March to facilitate works at span nine.

“We still have to replace the entire span nine and that is more tedious, difficult and time-consuming than dealing with accepter span eight,” Edghill said.

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