Engineers attached to the Transport and Harbours Department (T&HD), as well as an independent engineer are currently doing an assessment of the work which is needed to be carried out on the Leguan stelling, according to T&HD General Manager Marcelene Merchant.
The T&HD had announced in December, 2015 that the sum of $24 million would have been put towards maintenance works on the Leguan stelling, for the driveway, decking, beams, piles and the rehabilitation of the fender system. The work was slated to commence in early 2016. However, Stabroek News, during a recent visit did not observe any sign that work had started or was slated to start anytime soon.
Concerns have been raised by users who have dubbed the stelling “a deathtrap” and called for the urgent intervention of the relevant authorities.
When questioned on Tuesday, Merchant said that after the engineers have completed their analysis, a report would be submitted by the end of the month.
“We will look at it and based on the analysis, if it is that critical, then provisions will be made for it to be fixed this year,” she said.
Boat operator, Bassant (only name given) had related last week that the stelling has been in a poor condition for more than two years, and has been slowly getting worse. The man likened the infrastructure to a “deathtrap that is waiting to fall at any time.”
“If you only go under the stelling when them vehicles driving pass then you gon be really worried. Every time you there, and it pass the whole thing does shake and tumble, and you does got to wonder how much more pressure it could take.”
Bassant had explained that in addition to the constant fears of the stelling collapsing, drivers were also forced to lessen the loads in their vehicles, in a bid to not cause any more damage to the “already dying stelling.”
“While them man could bring a big truck load of sand before, now you could barely get a Canter because this thing can’t handle all of them loads now. Look and see for yourself, you barely walking and the boards shaking. It has to fix and fast.” Bassant had added that if the relevant authorities do not repair the stelling soon, then there is a risk of persons being hurt sometime in the future.
Meanwhile, in September, 2015, in the wake of six pile clusters located on the southern side of the Leguan Stelling collapsing, emergency work was undertaken by the T&HD, the Ministry of Public Infrastructure had said on its website. That work was concluded on September 4, 2015.
The ministry had stated that captains of ferry vessels used the clusters to spring off when departing from the stelling, and as such new piles were being driven in the area to facilitate the mooring and spring off process.
Prior to that, maintenance was done on the stelling in November 2013. The ministry had said that repairs were being conducted on the timber decking of the stelling structure, while defective planks and beams were being removed and replaced with new ones. It had also stated that emergency work was carried out on the low ramp of the stelling with timber planks – temporarily supporting the bottom half of ramp which was broken. Works to defective timber piles were soon to be carried out, it had also stated.