Residents of Good Hope, East Coast Demerara and several neighbouring communities are calling on the Guyana Police Force and the Ministry of Public Infrastructure to put systems in place that would result in the smooth flow of traffic as works continue to rehabilitate the main access bridge in the area.
Kamini Roopchand, a Good Hope resident, said that while she is pleased with the fact that rehab works have begun on the bridge, she is concerned about the traffic congestion and inconvenience that vehicle users and residents are made to face. She questions the rationale behind effecting the works at this time when there were so many other appropriate periods when the same works could have been undertaken.
But Senior Engineer at the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Sherod Parkinson explained that the scope of the work which begun last week includes demolition of the old Acrow Panel structure and reconstruction of a concrete one.
A $23.5M contract was awarded to BK International for repairs to the bridge. Parkinson said these upgrades should have been completed last year along with the Annandale and Lusignan bridges, but there were some challenges, particularly in relation to traffic.
Parkinson stressed the importance of the repairs to the bridge “it’s best to have this short discomfort to replace the bridge rather than have it collapse and result in the loss of a life”.
“We thought it best not to run all three bridges at the same time because of traffic issues with the construction of the other two, but because they were in an area where there were more access points to leave and enter the railway embankment, the traffic burden wasn’t felt much by the driving public but because of the location of this bridge there seems to be a greater impact on traffic,” the Senior Engineer underlined.