Works Minister Officially Opens Fort George Bridge


The newly installed bridge linking the community of Fort George and other districts in St. Mary was officially opened on Friday (Oct. 10), by Transport and Works Minister, Robert Pickersgill at a ceremony in Fort George. The bridge, which was constructed at a cost of $29.5 million, replaces the original structure, which was destroyed by flood rains in 2001.
Construction of the bridge began in April 2002 and it was completed in June of this year. Among the communities linked to Fort George by the bridge are Baxter’s Mountain and Long Road.
In declaring the bridge open, Mr. Pickersgill said it would serve as a catalyst for the development of the communities, which it served, adding that its installation was an indication of government’s determination to ensure that the country’s infrastructure was of the highest standard.
Noting that the country’s bridges were being carefully monitored to ensure that they were in the best condition possible, he said all bridges in need of repairs or replacement had already been identified by the National Works Agency (NWA), and pointed out that since the start of this year, five such facilities had been closed for the appropriate course of action.
Turning to the matter of extortion, a problem faced by many contractors, the Transport and Works Minister said it was a cancer, which needed to be eradicated forthwith.
Declaring that the practice was immoral and dishonest, he said government would do everything possible to bring it to an end, and asserted that government would work closely with the NWA and the Master Builders Association to eliminate it.
Minister of State in the Ministry of Transport and Works, Dr. Fenton Ferguson, who spoke at the ceremony, asserted that the NWA would be working closely with the Ministries of Agriculture and Local Government to repair farm and community roads throughout the country.
Dr. Ferguson urged the residents to protect the facility in order to ensure maximum service to the community.

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