The Bog Walk Bridge in St. Catherine, which connects the town with Linstead, was officially re-opened on Thursday (August 18) after being closed in 2008 by the National Works Agency (NWA) due to its deterioration.
The new bridge, costing over US$2.5 million, was built under the R.A. Murray International Limited/Jamaica Bridge Development Programme. It was completed earlier this year and is among 15 new bridges constructed under the programme.
Explaining the lengthy delay in completion, Transport and Works Minister, Hon. Mike Henry, said it was due to issues including the quality of work, as well as the unwillingness of some utility companies to co-operate with the contractors.
A section of the Bog Walk Bridge in St. Catherine, which was officially opened by the Minister of Transport and Works, Hon. Mike Henry on Thursday (August 19).
“Then of course we had the repair of the (Bog Walk) Gorge following (Tropical Storm) Gustav, which also affected the (work). So all of these issues, I want the public to know, are what sometimes impacts on the delays in a programme,” he stated.
The Minister however said he was elated to open the Bog Walk Bridge, and urged residents and motorists to take care of the structure.
“Dumping things and garbage in the river ends up blocking the passage of water under the bridge, which ends up eroding and collapsing the bridges, as happened at Harbour View (St. Andrew) and is happening all over the country,” Mr. Henry warned.
He said the Bailey bridge at Bog Walk, erected for temporary use by residents, will be removed to another community where it is needed, while St. Catherine’s railway bridge, used to transport bauxite, has been completed, at a cost of $48 million.
Member of Parliament for St. Catherine East Central, Natalie Neita-Headley, noted that residents were pleased with the work on the bridge and the improvements to the roadway.
“It is a glorious day for Bog Walk. The project was started some time ago, we had difficulties, but all in all we are very happy that it is here sufficiently to provide service to the community,” she said.
The Jamaica Bridge Development Programme is an island wide thrust by the government to replace bridges that have outlived their useful life.