Harbour Bridge Closure: Span nine replaced, testing underway to allow for Friday reopening


Two days into a three-day closure of the Demerara Harbour Bridge (DHB), repair works are reported to be “on track” and authorities are optimistic that it will be completed in keeping with the 72-hour schedule.

With the new Span 9 already in place, contractors were Wednesday conducting finishing works on the span.

“Throughout the day yesterday (Tuesday), we did our final assembling into the position. We immediately started putting on the decks and the ramp and this morning around 6-6.30 we completed all the decks and the ramps,” General Manager of the DHB, Wayne Watson explained to the News Room on Wednesday.

He added, “So as of now the guys are putting on the hydraulic arms for the ramp and the Demerara Harbour Bridge staff, are installing all the electrical fittings and the hydraulic lines”.

Once this is completed, a retraction will be done. And once Span 9 is functioning as it should, the bridge will be deemed ready for reopening.

“When we reach to the point of testing once the span is in the right position, we have to put on some stops…to ensure that the bridge traverses forward and backward in the right distance and once that is in place the work has been completed,” Watson noted.

According to Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Deodat Indar, authorities are optimistic that the much needed repair works on the DHB will be completed in keeping with the 72-hour schedule.

Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Deodat Indar inspecting ongoing works at the Demerara Harbour Bridge. (Picture: Deodat Indar FB page/July 26, 2023)

“…I think that we are on schedule, Indar said while adding, “we just got to make sure that we continue in this stead…we that we can finish this job…We are on track for the 72 hours”.

This is the first time a span is being replaced on the DHB, Indar said.

“It’s something that we have never done before…everything is on schedule. Multiple teams, multiple shifts…The work is progressing smoothly,” he noted.

The closure of the Demerara Harbour Bridge is the facilitate the replacement of the Span 9 which was damaged in September last year when the Panamanian flagged vessel, MV Tradewinds Passion, crashed into the bridge during a retraction period and rendered the bridge inoperable for several days.

But at the same time, other repair works amounting to millions of dollars is also being done simultaneously on other sections of the bridge.

“We are doing four section of the bridge and that is to ensure the structural integrity when we open back to the commuting public,” Watson told the News Room on Wednesday.

The closure is scheduled to end at 11:59 pm on July 27.

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