Team probing Harbour Bridge collision

Stabroek News
November 1, 2002

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A two-man team is investigating last Friday’s collision of a Barama Company Ltd tug and barge with the Demerara Harbour Bridge.

The early morning accident caused stanchions supporting the high span of the bridge to be severely shifted and resulted in the closure of the bridge’s for over 24 hours leaving thousands of commuters stranded.

The team, comprising acting Harbour Master, Taig Kallicharan and acting Chief Pilot, Michael Tennant, is tasked among other things with looking at ways to ensure that such accidents are avoided in the future.

Additionally, provisions for the imposition of fines apart from those related to the costs associated with repairs are being considered.

This issue, which was discussed at last Tuesday’s cabinet meeting, is expected to engage the attention of the Attorney-General and the Maritime Authority.

Meanwhile, repairs to the bridge have been completed with vehicles carrying up to 22 tons now allowed to cross. As is customary, vehicles in excess of this weight limit are required to book in advance before crossing.

A source close to the bridge told this newspaper that the final cost associated with its repairs is expected to be somewhere close to the $10M figure which UNAMCO had been charged following their collision in May. That collision caused major damage to the retractor span.