Demerara Harbour Bridge damaged again
-- due to reopen to traffic this afternoon By Mark Ramotar
Guyana Chronicle
October 26, 2002

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THE Demerara Harbour Bridge is due to reopen to vehicular traffic by this afternoon after repairs to a damaged column, supporting its high span, are completed, officials have projected.

The column was damaged yesterday morning after a tug and barge belonging to the Barama Logging Company crashed into one of the pontoons supporting that part of the structure.

The crash shifted the bridge out of line.

The barge, laden with logs, was at the time travelling south along the river.

Officials said the accident occurred at about 07:00 hrs - peak traffic time for commuters travelling from both sides of the Demerara River.

Many commuters were left stranded and had to detour due to the accident. .

Bridge Project Manager, Mr. Andrew Motayne said that shortly after the accident the Engineer's Department dispatched a team of servicemen to begin repairs on the structure.

He said that although the cost for repairs could not, up to yesterday afternoon, be determined, Barama Company has offered both financial and technical assistance for the repairs.

Motayne said the closure of the bridge would result in an average loss of some $500,000 in revenue per day.

While the bridge is out of operation, the Transport and Harbours Department (T&HD) is operating a ferry vessel between Georgetown and Vreed-en Hoop.

The vessel would accommodate light vehicles crossing and would work beyond its normal schedule, officials said.

This latest incident occurred just two months after another section of the bridge was damaged when a fully loaded barge belonging to Demerara Timbers (DTL) crashed into the western end of the bridge causing the supporting poles and wires to snap and shift the structure out of line.

In May this year, a barge belonging to UNAMCO Logging Company reportedly drifted from the Toolsie Persaud wharf at Providence, East Bank Demarara, and crashed into the bridge causing some damage in the area of its retractor span.