The Minister of Transport and Works, Hon. Mike Henry, and Member of Parliament (MP) for St. Thomas Western, Hon. James Robertson, are satisfied with the quality of river training works being carried out along the banks of the Yallahs River.
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)-funded project commenced last year. To date, two phases have been completed at a cost of $400 million.
The project is being implemented by the National Works Agency (NWA) to put the infrastructure in place to protect the newly constructed $402.7 million, 157-metre bridge spanning the Yallahs Fording at Albion and Poor Man’s Corner, St. Thomas.
The Minister of Transport and Works, Hon. Michael Henry (left), being updated on the river training works being carried out on the banks of the Yallahs River in western St. Thomas by Senior Director, National Works Agency (NWA), Earl Patterson, during a tour of the project on Wednesday (September 1).
Construction of the bridge was undertaken by the consortium of Pihl & Sons/Mabey and Johnson, and commenced in September, 2007. It was completed in August, 2008, two months ahead of schedule.
On Wednesday (September 2), Mr. Robertson, who is also the Minister of Energy and Mining, joined Mr. Henry in touring area to view the works.
Mr. Henry said the work has been “satisfactorily completed”, and credited Mr. Robertson with being instrumental in ensuring this.
He explained that some 2,400 feet of work was undertaken along the banks of the river, beginning at the bridge and extending northwards. The works included the packing boulders in gabion baskets, and bunding which is the planting of bamboo and wild cane on riverbanks.
These features were designed to regulate water flow within the river course, and reduce the probability of flooding, which could damage the bridge. The NWA undertook the earth works aspect of the project, which included shoring up river bed material and realigning and clearing the channel.
“What you have here is river training work that has been done since the bridge was opened. But, this work has to go all the way up to Easington, in the long term, to ensure that we are protecting the (bridge and surrounding communities). We are going to need to (undertake) another 1,500 feet (of work) on either side (of the river bed),” Mr. Henry said.
Describing the project as “very good work”, Mr. Robertson, in whose constituency the project area is located, commended the contractors and other stakeholders for completing it within the budget and project period.
“I can say this programme is going to make all the difference to education, to employment, to the people of St. Thomas. This is going to allow the persons, who go to work on a daily basis, to be able to get in and out of this parish and constituency in a very seamless manner,” Mr. Robertson said.
L&K Construction, Sean D. Construction, Gabions & Structures Company Limited and Surrey Paving &Aggregates were the contracted to effect the works.