The Demerara Harbour Bridge will undergo critical maintenance within the next few days and commuters who transit the bridge are asked to put necessary measures in place to deal with extended bridge closures, a release from the Department of Public Information (DPI) today stated.
General Manager of the Demerara Harbour Bridge Corporation (DHBC), Rawlston Adams during a press conference today told media operatives that these closures are as a result of long overdue rehabilitation works.
The bridge will be closed for seven hours on Saturday morning from 8:30 hours. Adams explained that one of the extra-large pontoons which is used to support the bridge has to be changed.
He explained that two weeks ago the bridge was closed for six hours to accommodate the replacement of one of the pontoons under the retractor span on the western side. However, the “last of the extra-large pontoons under the retractor span on the eastern side which should have been changed over a year now, will be changed.”
According to the General Manager, on Wednesday, the engineers will remove the walkway, stairs, and platforms. Following this, on Thursday they will disconnect hinges, hydraulic pipes and install the temporary pontoons, and on Friday remove the hydraulic hinges and pipes. Saturday the switching of the pontoons will be completed.
Finally, on Sunday the system will be reconnected. There will be system checks conducted on Monday and by Tuesday the bridge should return to normal retractions.
“We’ve decided that we will do it one at a time and the method is to close the bridge to marine traffic, open to vehicular traffic except for except for Saturday where we’ll be closing for a very lengthy period,” Adams highlighted.
Later in the year during the springtide period in the first week of November, DHBC will be changing one of the large pontoons. The Corporation has already replaced four of its five pontoons catered for in its 2017 work programme.
The works on the bridge will be carried out at a cost of $102M, DPI said.