JIS News

Construction of the new $402 million Yallahs bridge in St. Thomas, which is expected to be finished by year-end, is about 30 per cent complete.
This was disclosed to JIS News by Ingimar Ragnarsson, Site Manager for Pihl and Son, the contractors of the bridge.
He pointed out that by the end of this week, the driving of steel piles that will form the support for the bridge should be completed. “We are done with the first pier, which is in the middle of the river. That’s ready for the steel work that sits on top of it. The west abutment will be cast today (February 13), and next week we can hoist the 46-metre girders on top of them and start decking,” he said.
The new bridge will replace the Yallahs ford which was destroyed by hurricane in October 2003. The work is being done under phase II of the Mabey and Johnson Priority Bridge Programme of the Ministry of Transport and Works.
Mr. Ragnarsson pointed out that at the beginning of the work, some time was lost due to the river being in spate. He noted that the 146 piles used on the project were driven to an average depth of 31 metres and that the remaining section above ground would be encased in concrete.
Mr. Ragnarsson told JIS News that it was unlikely that the river would be able to uproot the structure or cause any damage. “I cannot imagine that anything will take these piles out. We have a clearance between the river bed and the girders of about seven metres and it’s going to take a lot of water to fill up the width of seven metres,” he said.
He further explained that as an additional measure to protect the structure, they would be putting in boulders up to 1