KINGSTON — The eastbound corridor of the Dry River Bridge at Harbour View, St. Andrew, is slated to be opened to vehicular traffic during the first week of November.
The National Works Agency (NWA) has informed that the work on the two-lane roadway and attendant support structures should be substantially concluded by the end of this month to facilitate the opening.
Completion of the eastbound lanes will culminate the work to replace the previous bridge, which was washed away during the passage of Tropical Storm Nicole two years ago. Transport and Works Minister, Hon. Michael Henry, opened the westbound corridor on September 11.
Major Projects Manager at the NWA, Lynval Ramdial, told JIS News that contracting company, Kier Construction, was initially scheduled to complete the works on October 14 but this was deferred to October 31 to address several logistical issues. These include the relocation of infrastructure owned by the island’s utility companies, and installation of traffic signals, road signs, and LED energy saving lights.
Mr. Ramdial informed that the putting in of the requisite safety demarcations is still left to be done. He explained that the asphalting has not sufficiently hardened to facilitate the process.
“We cannot put (in) the white lines, because if you (do so) too early, bleeding will occur, where the bitumen, which is the black substance in the asphalt,…will seep into the white lines and make (them) look gray…and defeat the whole purpose of the safety issue… because we want (the demarcations) to be white and visible at nights, especially. So, while we will finish the placing of the asphaltic concrete (by October 31), we can’t mark the lanes until about three or four days after the works,” he outlined, adding that this is expected to be undertaken towards the end of the first week in November.
Mr. Ramdial also informed that the detour road, which was opened to facilitate traffic flow in the absence of the bridge, is to be demolished, thereby facilitating water flowing in the Dry River Bridge to be channeled under the newly built structure.
The Dry River Bridge is the main link between communities in the country’s eastern end, primarily St. Thomas, and the island’s south coast.
Construction of the four-lane bridge is being undertaken by the NWA at a cost of approximately US$8.9 million under the Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB) Loan 2026 Rehabilitation Programme. The project period is 18 months.
By Douglas Mcintosh, JIS Reporter