Another Harbour Bridge in the making
Government has announced that it will be embarking on studies for an alternative to the aging Demerara Harbour Bridge.
Responding to questions Wednesday at the Office of the President, Transport Minister Robeson Benn said that there has been interest, time and again, for a new bridge, but although information was provided not much has come out.
Very soon, government will be advertising for companies to conduct studies for a new Demerara River crossing, he said.
The project is a priority for government, especially with the explosion of traffic which in recent years has been proving a headache for the policy makers.
The current Demerara Harbour Bridge, commissioned in 1978, has long since outlasted its expected life with its management facing a constant uphill task of keeping it operational.
Vehicular traffic last December broke records with 252,000 vehicles crossing.
With a projected 10,000-plus vehicles being added to the country’s roads annually, the troubles have been many.
Daily changing of deck plates and repairs – sometimes in a race against the clock – has been a normal sight for the thousands of commuters who traverse the bridge.
The government’s worst nightmare became a reality in July after a section collapsed during maintenance works, stranding thousands on both sides of the Demerara River and causing millions of dollars in losses.
Although it was brought back up in three days, the incident brought home the harsh reality of the urgent need for another crossing.
With several new housing schemes established in recent years in West Demerara, the situation has reached a worrying stage.
Bridge officials have already said that the situation will become difficult to control within five years because of the volume of traffic. (Leonard Gildarie)