– Retractions for Marine traffic back on schedule
The management of the Demerara Harbour Bridge Corporation (DHBC) yesterday announced
the successful completion of maintenance works to replace a pontoon supporting the western section of the retractor span.
The announcement was made after a final systems check at 13:00hrs.
This phase of the works is part of a $109M project to replace pontoons at the link.
The works, jointly carried out by engineers and staff of the DHBC and Industrial Fabrication Incorporated (InFab), were completed within the projected timeframe.
During the exercise, there were no disruptions to either marine or road traffic outside of the planned six-hour period on Saturday last.
Speaking after the systems check, DHBC General Manager, Rawlston Adams, said, “The successful execution of the project was a result of careful planning over several months and good coordination among the various departments and contractor InFab.
The replaced pontoon, in addition to supporting the western section of the retractor span of the bridge also houses the electrical and hydraulic systems that control the retraction of the bridge.
These systems had to be removed from the decommissioned pontoon and reinstalled on the new pontoon in order for the scheduled retractions to resume on schedule.
Adams said, “It was important that the project be completed over the weekend so that normal operations could resume (Monday) without affecting commercial, educational and other activities that are served by this bridge linking Regions Three and Four.
In the end, we achieved that with time to spare. And because of our diligence we also achieved it without accident or incident.”
The last time that this pontoon was replaced was 18 years ago. The corresponding pontoon on the eastern side of the retractor span will be replaced in the near future.
Adams told Kaieteur News yesterday that this phase will be undertaken some time during the last quarter of this year.
“We’re looking at late October or early November,” he said.
Planning for this phase is expected to commence shortly, Kaieteur News was told.
During last weekend’s exercise, the bridge was closed off to marine traffic. Adams said that a meeting was convened with these stakeholders.
“They were informed that the bridge is ready and that scheduled retractions will commence (today).
The bridge was declared open to traffic on July 2, 1978 at a ceremony attended by the Prime Minister and former President, Forbes Burnham.
The toll station was incomplete at the time and it was announced that passage across the bridge would be free for the first month, during which the toll station would be completed.
There was a public competition for the naming of the bridge and the name “Demerara Harbour Bridge” was chosen from the entries submitted.
The bridge is a 1851 meters (1.15 miles) long floating toll bridge consists of a pedestrian foot walk, with 61 spans, a raised section that provides a horizontal clearance of 32.0 metres and a vertical clearance of 7.9 metres to allow small vessels to pass at all times and two retractor spans retract fully to leave a horizontal clearance of 77.4 metres to allow large vessels to pass.
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