[www.inewsguyana.com] – General Manager of the Demerara Harbour Bridge (DHB) Rawlston Adams has revealed that the Harbour Bridge could last for another twenty years but question whether it would be able to provide a proper service to those who wish to use it and more so if the service will prove to be one that does not discomfort the users.
During a press conference on Monday, January 6, Adams told reporters that the bridge can last for as long as the powers that be want it to last and once the money is pumped into the facility, it could go for a few more decades.
Adams’ comment comes at a time when the government is looking to construct a new structure across the Demerara River.
Meanwhile, there has been no definite word on what will become of the components of the DHB once a new one is constructed.
Adams explained that at the moment, there is a lot of potential for components of the bridge, as it could be used to mend several bridges along the road to Lethem.
Asked about the possibility of allowing the present structure to remain as a tourist attraction after the new facility comes on stream, Adams said that for the present Demerara Harbour Bridge to remain in position while the new bridge is constructed will be defeating the entire purpose of building a new one.
He explained that the DHB is being used by both vehicular traffic and ocean going vessels which result in traffic interruptions.
According to him, the new bridge would be a high rise structure which will allow for vehicles to traverse the bridge at the same time vessels are passing below so there will be no more retractions and no more long lines.
The options for a new Demerara River bridge were revealed during the March 25 presentation of the 2013 National Budget. Minister of Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh highlighted then that the Government had commenced the technical examination of the options for constructing a new bridge.
Within recent years the Demerara Harbour Bridge has been experiencing an increased number of vehicles crossing the bridge on a daily basis, necessitating a new structure.
The proposed project will see the bridge being made of reinforced concrete, having four lanes for vehicular traffic (20 metres (m) wide), walkway for pedestrians inclusive of cycle lane, loading (HS 25 or CSA 600), navigational clearance (100m wide), navigational aids, air draft (50m), adequate marine collision protection at navigational channel and an estimated length of 2250m.
Versailles on the West Bank of Demerara to Houston on the East Bank of Demerara, and Good Hope on the East Bank of Demerara and Patentia on the West Bank of Demerara have been put forward as possible locations. [Leroy Smith]