General Manager of the Demerara Harbour Bridge Corporation (DHBC) Rawlston Adams says that rehabilitation works on the eastern hydraulic ramp have been completed and the bridge is ready.
Plans are in place to have works commence on the western ramp in a few weeks.
Adams said: “We are expected to remove and replace the western hydraulic ramps and that is scheduled to start on May 13 or 20 based on further discussions with the shipping agents and the marine vessels that usually traverse using the bridge.”
He added that the plans for the maintenance on the western ramp will depend on the decisions made by the shipping agents and mariners at a meeting today.
He noted that the rehabilitation works were completed way ahead of the scheduled seven days. He explained that when works commenced on Sunday last they were able to remove and replace the southern half of the eastern ramp and that allowed them to accommodate double lane traffic on Monday morning until 9:00am.
He noted that on Monday they were able to complete the northern section of the eastern ramp which paved the way for additional works on Tuesday which were completed by 6:00pm.
He said that the estimated cost for the rehabilitation works was well over $40M and that came from their previous budgetary allocation.
Adams stated that DHBC does not make enough money to facilitate maintenance works so that is where most of its budgetary allocations go. He added that the annual cost for the operation of the Harbour Bridge is well over $900M.
“We were pleased with the arrangements put in place with the traffic because we had that assistance of the police which worked fine and about 95% of persons complied with the regulations and we apologize for the inconvenience but it was necessary to have the major component fixed,” Adams said while referring to the severe traffic congestion on Monday.
Meanwhile, in the next 2-3 months they will be installing 150 anchor blocks and two large pontoons at the retractor span.
Those works will not affect vehicular traffic but marine traffic will be affected since the bridge will be unable to retract.
The last time the ramp was rehabilitated was in 1998 but maintenance works are always ongoing on the bridge. Persons realize that works are ongoing on the bridge because of the impact on the traffic, Adams noted.