Repairs have commenced on the defective multi-million-dollar Supenaam Stelling, in Region Two, with authorities stating that test runs could be conducted this month as scheduled.
Officials yesterday said that once those tests are successful, the facility will be opened in phases to traffic.
It was disclosed that the metal strips that joined the ramp to the concrete driveway have been replaced. These strips had been badly damaged after a support beam for the drawbridge collapsed days after the structure was opened to traffic last year.
Last month, Minister of Public Works and Transport, Robeson Benn, also stated that a concrete support beam will have to be repaired and a new pontoon built.
In the initial phase, vehicles using the stelling will be limited to a maximum of 22 tonnes to ensure that the structure is functioning according to requirements.
Engineers had hoped to put the stelling in use by February 11, but discovered a suspect beam which they determined could develop into a serious fault.
Government had allocated more than $50M for the repairs.
Last May, the stelling ramp buckled under the weight of a heavy vehicle, days after it was opened to ferry traffic. Ferries were forced to use the Adventure Stelling which government had hoped to abandon.
Following the collapse of the ramp which effectively closed the stelling, President Bharrat Jagdeo had ordered a report on the incident tasking Prime Minister Samuel Hinds to oversee it.
Two private engineers were hired to investigate the incident.
There had been meetings with several of the parties involved in the construction of the stelling, including the contractors, BK International; the Ministry of Local Government, which was the executing agency; the Ministry of Public Works; the supervisors, Vikab Engineering and the designers, SNC Lavelin.
Key to those meetings was which parties would have been footing the bill to fix the defects and subsequent damage to the facility. However, the report has not been released nor has blame been apportioned, at least publicly.
In January 2010, the stelling was handed over to the Ministry of Public Works which claimed that it had raised concerns over some problems that were evident.
Just four days after it was opened to traffic, the stelling was forced to close operations after its ramp buckled under the weight of a truck.
The contractor, BK International, distancing itself from the incident, took media houses on an inspection shortly after and stated that modifications on the ramp by the Ministry of Public Works had caused the problems.
Late in April, an extra pontoon being installed by the Ministry sank while work was being done to attach it to the ramp.
BK International, during the tour, had claimed that the modifications, including the extra pontoon and the drawbridge, were not needed, since tests had found that the one existing pontoon could have taken the weight.
The officials believed that the modifications compromised the structural integrity of the stelling.
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