Newly built Good Hope, Ebo stelling …
The Supenaam stelling is in the news again for the umpteenth time since the Works Ministry took possession just over two years ago.
Over the weekend, a five-ton ramp used by side-loading vessels plummeted into the Essequibo River. By yesterday it was retrieved from the bottom of the river and reattached to the stelling, at an unknown cost.
A source said that ever since the stelling was handed over by the contractor, BK International, it has been problem-plagued.
The first calamity saw a ramp collapsing under the weight of the first vehicle to be offloaded from the ferry. Immediately the authorities closed the stelling and undertook modifications to the tune of millions of dollars.
At the same time, blame for the mishap flew fast and furious. The Works Ministry blamed the contractor and mounted an investigation. The contractor blamed the engineer’s design. There were further modifications.
Not long ago another section of the loading area of the stelling buckled under the weight of a vehicle and forced the closure.
Last week the authorities were forced to close the stelling to traffic of any kind because the loading ramp collapsed under the weight of another vehicle. Immediately, all traffic was directed to the abandoned Adventure Ferry Stelling.
Before the work could have been corrected, the ramp fell into the river. Works Minister Robeson Benn said that the ramp was part of the drawbridge used by side-loading vessels.
A piece of heavy duty machinery, probably an excavator, was being loaded onto the stelling.
Minister Benn said that the piece of machinery should have been on a low-bed, and so ensure that the weight was more widely distributed. Instead it was driven onto the ramp.
Yesterday the ramp was retrieved from the bottom of the river and reinstalled, the Minister said. He added that the facility will be handed over to the Transport and Harbours Department today.
The cost of the retrieval and reinstallation of the drawbridge ramp was not disclosed.