The government says is seeking innovative ways to keep the Demerara Harbour Bridge up and running without interfering with the flow of traffic.
In fact, the management of the harbour bridge says it is seeking to develop a motorised platform using a pontoon which will allow for maintenance works to be done on the bridge from the river.
This was disclosed by the bridge’s General Manager, Wayne Watson during an interview with DPI. He said the initiative forms part of the $946 million in rehabilitation works slated for the facility this year.
Watson said on a good day, the bridge sees over 25,000 vehicles going east and west. When maintenance works are ongoing on the bridge, he said it causes problem, for not only management, but persons utilising the bridge.
“So, what we thought was best, in order to free up the bridge so that the users can get access to the bridge … Not all maintenance work can be done from the river, but the ones that would require us to be on the carriage way, those minor maintenance work like welding deck plates, changing pins and those things, we can do those work in the day and what cannot be done in the day will be done in the night.”
Invitation for bids have already been placed in the local newspapers for eligible bids which will be opened by the National Procurement and Tender Administration.
Aside from the motorised platform, Watson also highlighted other works slated to be undertaken.
“One of those works is the anchorage system. So, in 2022 we would have received some funding to do some anchorage work. Also, we have pontoons that need rehabilitation, funding was approved for that. Ten feet deck plates which is basically the platform which the vehicles use to traverse on the bridge, funding was also approved for that and the transom beams. These are the beams that deck plates are seated on, we got approval for 30 such beams,” he further added.
The motorised platform will be constructed at an estimated cost of $75 million, rehabilitation of pontoons at $411 million, fabrication of deck plates at $100 million, fabrication of h-beams at $60 million and anchor chains and blocks at $300 million.
The general manager said the aim of the repairs is to ensure the bridge is safe for use as the facility will celebrate its 44th anniversary this year. [DPI]