JIS News

Minister of State for Transport and Works, Dr. Fenton Ferguson, has given the assurance, that work on the railway bridge in St. Margaret’s Bay, Portland, which is being repaired to be used as an alternative to the hurricane-damaged Rio Grande overpass, will be completed by the end of this month.
The repairs, which began on Thursday (July 14), is being undertaken at a cost of $26 million, and involves the modification of the bridge to accommodate vehicular traffic. NAKASH Construction Company is the contractor.
Dr. Ferguson, who toured the work site on Wednesday (July 20), said that every effort was being made to expedite the work, noting the importance of the access route to the economic and social life of Portland.
He said the decision to put the old bridge into service was in direct response to instructions from Prime Minister P.J. Patterson and the “National Works Agency urgently examined all available options in order to ensure that a replacement to the Rio Grande Bridge was put in place as early as possible”.
Noting that a detailed design of the repair work had already been done, Dr. Ferguson informed that the Bailey bridge, to be used for decking, was being moved to the worksite. He noted further, that the removal of the sleepers and rails would be completed before the end of this week.
He apologised to the residents of the parish for the inconveniences with which they have been confronted since the Rio Grande Bridge was taken out of service and appealed to motorists to use the refurbished facility with care, when it is brought into operation.
Dr. Ferguson said the bridge would be able to accommodate motor vehicles with a maximum weight capacity of 12 tonnes and a speed limit of 15 miles per hour would be imposed.

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