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A single lane compact bridge, constructed at a cost of $18 million, was officially opened today (Sept. 8) in the community of Boswell Heights in St. Andrew.
State Minister of Housing, Transport, Water, and Works, Richard Azan, who attended the opening, said the 25-tonne bridge, on which work started in May, was completed below budget. “In house, the estimate to build this bridge was $24 million, the tender document had it at $36 million, but in the end, the project cost only $18 million,” said Mr. Azan.
Minister of State in the Ministry, Dr. Fenton Ferguson, in his remarks, said that the construction of the bridge would prove to be beneficial to the 500 families in the community.
“The citizens were very serious about their concerns, the farmers who had their produce to take out, the problems they had in moving the produce, all of that was of great concern. So when we witness today the opening of this bridge it represents good governance and it represents good representation,” Dr. Ferguson said.
In the meantime, Manager of Communication and Customer Services at the National Works Agency (NWA), Steven Shaw, urged the citizens to take care of the bridge and desist from disposing garbage near the surrounding waterway.
“I notice something and I hope it is not a trend that is developing – garbage being deposited right in the vicinity of the new bridge. I hope the persons living in this community will help us to maintain the environment in a reasonable way, because when you dispose your garbage in the river, it finds it self into the sea,” he said.
He added “it’s important for us to keep the environment healthy, so whatever is necessary for us to do, let us try to play our small part and not dispose of our garbage in the waterways, gullies, or where ever else you know we have a particular drainage system”.
Mr. Shaw informed that the NWA was spending $400 million on a programme to clean drains across the island, which would otherwise have been used to rehabilitate roadways.
“If only we could keep our waterways free of debris and garbage and other things that persons want to dispose of in these waterways,” he lamented.
The Boswell Heights bridge is one of 80 such structures that the government is constructing and rehabilitating across the island.