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JIS News

A new 42-metre (140 feet) single-lane bailey bridge, constructed at a cost of $40 million, was officially opened yesterday (Jan. 18) in Worthy Park, St. Catherine.
The project included river training works and the placing of an inner guard rail, which acts as a protectant and a guide across the bridge.
Chief Executive Officer of the National Works Agency (NWA), Milton Hodlin, informed that the river training activities, which stretched some 600 metres upstream, involved using material from the riverbed, which was reinforced with galvanized coated steel wires and gabion baskets.
“This technique allows it to last for up to 50 years. We’ve had some that was built in the 1950’s and they are still intact,” he noted.
Minister of Housing, Transport, Water and Works, Robert Pickersgill, told JIS News that the last three hurricanes, which affected the island, had caused severe damage to the country’s roads and bridges.
“The amount of money the (National) Works Agency is spending on bridges and river training works is mind-boggling but if this was not done, the consequences would be grave and the longer you leave these things, the more costly they become,” he stated.
He noted that the provision of a new bridge at Worthy Park, would make it easier for residents to travel to various destinations “and the spin-off is that it makes commercial transactions more stable”.
The Minister said that an effective monitoring mechanism would be put in place to prevent overloaded trucks from using the bridge. He said that scales have been purchased and “those truckers, who flout the law will feel the sanctions in their pockets”.