Vessel hits Demerara harbour bridge

-traffic chaos ensues

A vessel travelling south along the Demerara River hit the Demerara Harbour Bridge during the 5 am retraction yesterday morning.

A bridge official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that the impact “took down two sets of cluster piles” and shifted the retractor span “and so the bridge couldn’t be closed.”

What ensued were massive traffic jams on both sides of the river as motorists looking to cross were stuck for several hours as efforts were made to fix the damage. Stabroek News understands that the bridge’s maintenance crew was quickly mobilized, and by 09:00 hrs the bridge’s operators were able to close it and allow vehicular traffic to flow as normal.

But the work is not complete. An official said “the bridge is just temporarily repaired…the damage is major.”

A bridge official told Stabroek News that it was a fuel vessel which hit the bridge.

A call was made to Harbour Bridge General Manager Rawlston Adams for him to provide clarity but he was unable to do so at the time Stabroek News spoke to him.  He said that the matter would be addressed today.

The ordeal was not bad for everyone though. While bus and taxi drivers along with lorry operators saw their day delayed by hours, and profit decreased by the hundreds and  thousands, the speedboat operators who operate between the Vreed-en-Hoop and Georgetown stellings saw their profits soar on what is usually a very slow day.

One operator who identified himself as Travis said that people started showing up by the busloads, allowing speedboat operators to fill-up their boats quickly and move off. This was happening on both sides of the river.

Of course, the bus and taxi drivers did not share the excitement of their river-going counterparts. Dennis Nelson, a bus driver who operates between Georgetown and Parika, said that he was stuck in the traffic jam at the bridge for some time before he knew why traffic was stalled. The man said that he left his vehicle and approached a clerk at the bridge who told him that the bridge was closed for the moment because of an accident. When he asked how long the bridge would be closed, he said one clerk told him until 11:00 hrs, while another suggested that repair works might last the day.

Realizing that his passengers had places to go, Nelson said that he took them  to the stelling in Georgetown so they could cross the river.

He lamented that he would have made $7000 from  the load had he completed the journey, and insists that in such cases the government should make provisions for the owners of these vessels to compensate persons inconvenienced.

On September 30th 2012, two fishing trawlers which broke free of their moorings as a result of strong tides hit the Harbour Bridge.

A few months earlier, the bridge was closed for two days after a small section sank after the jaws of one of the piers supporting two temporary pontoons at the bridge broke.

 

Latest in Local News

default placeholder

Eye care specialists to meet in Barbados next month

Eye care specialists from across the Anglophone, Dutch and Spanish-speaking Caribbean, North America and Europe will converge in Barbados in July for the 27th Congress of the Ophthalmological Society of the West Indies (OSWI).

default placeholder

Cases being built against drug kingpins

Outgoing Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy here, Bryan Hunt has urged patience as it relates to indictments of local drug barons saying that cases are being built in the background that can guarantee convictions.

St Paul’s Anglican Church in Aurora

Aurora Village (Part 2)

Things in Aurora Village are much livelier than in Aurora Estate. Women walk in and out of the health centre with babies hanging from their hips; policemen stand outside the police station bracing against a wooden rail as they talk amongst themselves and shouts of chatter from children playing fill the air.

A Cessna 206 – the model of the planes flown out of Eugene F Correia International Airport, at Ogle yesterday

Probe launched into illegal Cessna flights from Ogle

The Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) yesterday launched an investigation into the illegal flights of two aircraft from the Eugene F Correia International Airport, at Ogle, East Coast Demerara.

default placeholder

Broke City Hall seeks gov’t bailout

Debt-ridden City Hall has approached the government for a bailout after undertaking several Golden Jubilee projects it did not budget for.

Trevon Thomas

Youth of Guyanese parentage dies in BVI boat accident

A young man of Guyanese parentage died tragically in Tortola, British Virgin Islands around 10:00 hrs yesterday when the speedboat he was in hit rough waters and capsized.

Two of the better appointed stands at D’Urban Park (Stabroek News file photo/Keno George)

D’Urban Park bleachers to remain

The bleachers at D’Urban Park will not be dismantled as originally intended as government intends to preserve and improve the area and turn it into a facility for public events, President David Granger has said.

default placeholder

Funerals held for Kamarang sisters crushed by tree

Post-mortem examinations were performed yesterday on the two children who were crushed to death on Thursday in Kamarang, Region Seven and they were buried with the village council assisting with funeral expenses.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: