JIS News

The National Works Agency Work (NWA) has announced that construction of the 157-metre Yallahs Bridge in St. Thomas should begin in September and completed by April 2008.
“We are expected to go to tender sometime in July. If all goes well during the tendering process, we expect actual work will commence in September,” said NWA Project Manager, O’rielly Henry.
He was addressing a public meeting held yesterday (March 16) at the Yallahs Baptist Church Hall, to share information garnered from an environmental impact assessment of the project, which was conducted by C.L. Environmental Company Limited.
The EIA assessment, which examined the impact the project will have on the overall physical and socio-economic environment, was requested by the National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA). It was completed in February 2005 and circulated to the St. Thomas Parish Council, the Water Resources Authority and other stakeholders, for review.
Mr. Henry told the meeting, that river training activities would be carried out along the Yallahs River before and during the construction phases, to protect the adjoining communities. “It’s an extensive amount of work and it will have to be done in phases.
We anticipate looking at three phases to cover the distance from Easington to the bridge and it is the intention that the river training dovetail into the final construction phase of the bridge,” he said.
Additionally, he said, the first shipment of material for the bridge, which was being supplied by United Kingdom-based company, Mabey & Johnson Limited, should be in the island by August.
“I trust that we will move forward with expediency to erect this bridge. The only problem that we might have would be the tendering process, so let us hope that we can get through the tendering process to start erecting this bridge,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Minister of State for Transport & Works, Dr. Fenton Ferguson, in his short presentation, spoke of the on-going renovation of two fordings at 11 Miles and stated that the Ministry was also looking at providing an alternative route through the hills.
He said that a decision had been taken by the NWA to erect a two-foot bridge across one of the fordings, for residents to walk across when the ford is in spate.
In addition, Dr. Ferguson said that river training work was recently completed at Seaforth at a cost of some $12 million, while $20 million was spent to complete the Danvers Pen Bridge.
He also mentioned several road repair projects being undertaken by the NWA to rehabilitate the road network in the parish.
According to the State Minister, repair work had started on the roadway between Cedar Valley and Trinityville. “That contract is $58 million. We have just spent $10 million of that, but that is a major expenditure,” he said.
Continuing he added, “the citizens recognize that the magnitude of damage on the ground in St. Thomas is phenomenal. you have across the country, over $40 billion worth of damage. We have to approach it on a priority basis.”
Also, addressing the meeting were Member of Parliament for Western St. Thomas, James Robertson and C.L Environmental representative, Carlton Campbell, who presented the environmental impact assessment.