Demerara Harbour Bridge to close for three days in July
See below full public notice issued by the Ministry of Public Works:
Bishop Juan Edghill, Minister of Public Works, wishes to notify the general public of the impending closure of the Demerara Harbour Bridge for a period of three (3) days in the last week of July 2023.
This closure is scheduled to start from 11:59 pm Monday 24th July 2023 to 11:59 pm Thursday 27th July 2023. This is to facilitate the replacement of span nine on the bridge.
Advised by his technical staff at the Demerara Harbour Bridge Corporation, the Minister says this specific time period is based on the tide between the 24th of July to the 29th of July. While the logistics for this replacement were also meticulously planned during the closure of the school term, to ensure a smooth transition, and as little inconvenience to the public as possible.
This notice is also being made one month ahead of schedule to ensure persons and businesses make requisite changes where necessary: persons travelling out of the country at the time of the closure, those with doctors’ appointments and other important engagements, etc., are being urged to note these changes.
Minister Edghill, says the government understands the significance of this replacement and is committed to seeing this project through, as this new retractor which spans 170 feet long and 40 feet wide and is valued at $1.2 billion, will result in a much smoother operation (retractability) in the future, which will also enable wider vessels to pass through the channel.
The Minister is appealing to commuters and businesses for their understanding and support during these three days of closure of the bridge, as the replacement of span nine cannot be done while traffic is flowing.
Last year September, span nine was damaged when the Panamanian flagged vessel, MV Tradewinds Passion crashed into the bridge during a retraction period and rendered the bridge inoperable for several days.
Since then, that damaged section of the bridge had to be repaired several times, while plans were being made to replace the unit altogether.
Repairs to span nine were undertaken by a local company, Industrial Fabrications Inc (InFab), which was completed in late 2022. In May this year, span nine was transported from the dockyard to the bridge for the perfect time and tide for installation.