Thousands of commuters on both sides of the Demerara Harbour Bridge were left stranded for around two hours after two trucks broke down on the bridge last evening.
The majority of the commuters were on their way home while others were making their way to work when they were caught in the traffic jam.
Traffic Chief Dion Moore last night told Stabroek News that the trucks broke down on the bridge sometime around 6.30 pm. While speaking with this newspaper at around 8pm he said they had managed to remove one of the trucks and were working to remove the other. The other truck was removed approximately one hour after.
Moore had said that they had difficulty in sourcing the right vehicle to tow the truck off the bridge.
At around 8 pm the traffic was backed up all the way from the junction of the East Bank Demerara access road to Mandela Avenue while on the West Bank of Demerara traffic was backed up all the way to Klien Pouderoyen. Even after the traffic began to move sometime after 9 last night, vehicles from the West Demerara were held to allow double-lane traffic for vehicles coming from the East Bank. This was done to ease the traffic congestion on the East Bank.
At 10.10 last night, vehicles were still stalled on the western side of the bridge and it wasn’t until around 10.55 pm that traffic began to flow normally.
As the traffic jam worsened, traffic officers were deployed along the East and West Banks to control and monitor the situation. Stabroek News learnt that delinquent drivers created their own lanes and in some cases bullied their way in an effort to get out of the traffic.
Some commuters told Stabroek News they were stuck in the traffic for more than two hours on the East Bank of Demerara. They noted that the traffic was moving at snail’s pace. In some cases, drivers took detours through the internal roads of Eccles, Republic Park and Nandy Park.
One passenger told this newspaper “We cut through Eccles and went around and came out at Massy Road (Red road)”.
Sydney David, a driver explained that he was travelling in a bus from Bagotville on the West Bank for work at around 6.30 pm when he became aware of the traffic jam. “I got out of the bus and decided to walk across the bridge or else I wouldn’t have made it to work tonight (last night),” he said, adding that persons from both ends of the bridge walked across before taking a bus or taxi to get home or to work. David said whilst walking across he noticed that the rear axle of the truck that was blocking traffic had broken.
Others who spoke to Stabroek News said they were in the line from 6.30 pm and were only able to get out of the traffic build-up at around 9 pm when the traffic started to move.