It is with increasing concern, nay, trepidation that I view the recent operations and administration of the Demerara Harbour Bridge. It is obvious that relative to the current government’s thinking this vital communication link holds a very low priority, never mind its ‘best by’ date has long passed. As a consequence of the number of vehicles being continually registered, the traffic accessing the bridge increases daily.
Given this situation one would have thought that some initiatives would have been put in place to try and soften the frustration, and lessen the thousands of man hours lost daily, by commuters and citizenry.
It is now the common practice that willy-nilly the western end of the bridge is closed at any time between five and seven o’clock in the evening, depending on the state of traffic on the East Bank road. Tractors and attendant overloaded trailers still access the bridge even at rush hours. The bridge is still occasionally closed during the day to facilitate the transit of extra-heavy or wide vehicles.
The change-over of staff necessitates the closing of booths daily at 14:00 hrs, regardless of the scheduled hours of closure, adding further to congestion and delay. Further, almost daily, repairs and maintenance are carried out on the deck plates.
One wonders why more use is not made of the river to convey heavy-duty vehicles such as excavators, and heavy material such as sand, cement, steel, etc, by barge to either side. The river is sadly empty and under-utilized. Tractors and other slow-moving vehicles should be banned from accessing the bridge. Extra heavy and wide vehicles meanwhile should only cross between the hours of 11 to 4. Some flexibility should be applied to staff change-over.
The functioning of the traffic lights at the eastern end needs careful re-examination; the programme cannot be the same during rush and non-rush hours.
Of more importance, given the current introduction of a five-day week, what needs to be seriously addressed by all institutions both governmental and private, is the introduction of flexi-hours, which would have a direct impact on the burgeoning traffic situation.
(Name and address provided)