East Coast embankment bridges in dangerous state

One of the bridges in the vicinity of Lusignan with a large pothole, which forces vehicles to use one side of the road.

Residents of the East Coast of Demerara and drivers who frequently traverse the Embankment Road are calling on the authorities to urgently repair bridges that have developed large potholes and other faults.

Stabroek News visited the bridges that are located at various villages along the Embankment Road from Liliendaal to Enmore where it was noticed that most of them had developed large potholes and other structural problems that left the metal plates on the base of the bridge exposed to the weather and traffic.

While the holes varied in size and shape, some of them were so large that they occupied an entire lane of the two-lane bridge, which resulted in traffic being forced to use one lane. Some of the holes had also developed in the middle of the bridge and forced the traffic to veer to the edges of the road, which residents say has caused numerous minor accidents.

“These holes developing long, long. They start small, small and eventually they got really big as you can see. But I think it was last week that the Ministry [of Public Infrastructure] came and dig them out more to repair them, I’m guessing. But they have been left here just like that for more than a week. Even when they weren’t dug out they were still a very large obstacle for traffic,” Rakesh Rahman, a resident explained on Friday.

Rahman added that since the bridges have no pathway for pedestrians, the large holes often make it hazardous for persons to traverse the bridges.  “You see how big they are. Well, what happens is that when them vehicles coming and they see the big one in the middle they does pull to the corner of the bridge to avoid it. Now what happens is that exposes the pedestrians walking on the two sides and we have had cases where vehicles coming and going have brushed people with their mirrors and what’s not,” Rahaman said.

The man also explained that the bridges are very dangerous during the nights. He pointed out that since there is poor lighting on the roadways, the darkness prevents vehicles from seeing the holes, which has resulted in several accidents.

“One night I de riding coming [traveling east] and they had nuff traffic on the road and by the time I notice the hole I couldn’t do nothing and blam and I drop in the hole and bruk up me whole bicycle wheel and damage the handle. Is only yesterday I change them things. Them hole dangerous bad and it de bad before they dig it up and like it get worse now,” another resident of Lusignan pointed out.

Even though the bridges will be patched, the residents and drivers said that other drastic changes need to be made.

“These holes are going to come back. It’s a reoccur situation. They come, patch the bridge and by the time they turn and leave, the hole starts developing,” a driver said. In addition to the holes, other bridges where potholes had not formed as yet had noticeable structural damage. Large cracks and bumps were observed.

“They gah do the rest of bridges like they do the one at Liliendaal at least. Stop doing patch, patch work and do the whole thing back. If not then they gon got these problems over and over again and is until someone dead because of the bridge then they gon do something,” a driver said.

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