– operation to change hydraulic ramp ongoing
Commuters traversing the Demerara Harbour Bridge (DHB) are asked to exercise patience and to begin their journeys at least one hour earlier to accommodate the delay occasioned by the repairs being done on the structure. The bridge is closed to marine traffic to facilitate on going works.
The regular flow of vehicular and marine traffic is expected to recommence on May 5.
This temporary inconvenience is to facilitate the removal of the old hydraulic ramp and the installation of a new one. The hydraulic ramp is the section of the retractor span that lifts off the acceptor span, allowing the bridge to retract to facilitate the passage of large ocean going vessels.
The operation commenced yesterday and for several hours only one-lane traffic was being accommodated at the retractor span. By afternoon, construction to half of the eastern section was completed. This allowed two-lane of traffic to flow but one-lane traffic will recommence at 9:00 hrs today for further works to continue.
DHB’s General Manager, Rawlston Adams, stated that by noon yesterday, the operation was ahead of schedule. He added that according to the work programme, work on the eastern lane should be completed by this afternoon.
Speaking about the traffic build-up yesterday, he noted that the travel time across the structure has increased by one hour. Adams advised that commuters should leave their homes earlier to avoid severe traffic congestion during the peak-hours.
He added that commuters were given one-month’s notice to prepare for this arrangement.
However, most of the works would be carried out at nights and during the ‘slow period’ of the day, Adams said.
To facilitate this hydraulic ramp change, management had to rehabilitate the acceptor span. That operation was carried out in March and it lasted for six hours.
Another preparatory measure management took was to engage the various companies that would have been affected by the closure of the structure to marine traffic. He explained that essential cargo such as fuel is transported via water to various companies, including Guyana Power and Light at Garden-of-Eden, East Bank Demerara, therefore; it was pertinent to discuss the stock levels of companies.
The hydraulic ramp was previously changed in 1997. That operation took two weeks and the bridge was closed to both vehicular and marine traffic. However, management is aiming to complete this operation in six days.
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