Contract Signed for New Yallahs Bridge

A contract valued at $402.7 Million was signed yesterday (Apr. 11) at Jamaica House by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, for the construction of a new permanent bridge at the Yallahs Fording in St. Thomas. The project is jointly funded by the Government of Jamaica and the Export Credit Guarantee Department of the United Kingdom.
In her remarks Mrs. Simpson Miller said extensive river training work will be carried out to keep the Yallahs River within its existing channel, in order to satisfy critical safety factors in the design and construction of the bridge. She said this will include the expenditure of approximately $25 Million to de-silt the river upstream from the Easington Bridge all the way downstream to the fording.
She said the National Works Agency (NWA) was in the process of securing additional funds to carry out further work to protect the banks of the river.
“This will ensure that all water flow is kept under the proposed bridge, as well as help protect life and property of housing estates constructed on the eastern upstream banks,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said.
Mrs. Simpson Miller said the construction of the Yallahs Bridge is a major undertaking that will not only satisfy the needs of the people of the area, but will act as a catalyst for accelerated development within the parish.
“The signing of this contract for construction of the new Yallahs Bridge is a critical step in the pathway to accelerated progress,” the Prime Minister said.
She said it was anticipated that the work would be completed on time and within budget and that extortion would not be tolerated on the site. Any attempt at extortion Mrs. Simpson Miller said, should immediately be brought to the attention of the government.
The new bridge will replace the Yallahs Fording which was completely destroyed by hurricane in October 2003. The work will be done under phase II of the Mabey and Johnson priority bridge programme of the Ministry of Housing, Transport, Water and Works. It will have a minimum life span of seventy years and is being built to withstand most severe weather conditions. Work is scheduled to commence shortly and should be completed within two years.

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