Harbour Bridge to be closed for 6 hours

… to facilitate maintenance works
Persons intending to use the Demerara Harbour Bridge on Sunday are advised that the bridge will be closed

General Manager of the DHBC Rawlston Adams
General Manager of the DHBC Rawlston Adams

for six hours to facilitate major maintenance works.
At a press briefing on Wednesday, General Manager of the Demerara Harbour Bridge Company (DHBC), Rawlston Adams, disclosed that the Bridge will be closed from 06:00h to 12:00h to facilitate the replacement of the fourth pontoon at Span Eight.
“We want to get the message out because there are a lot of people who use the Bridge so we want them to know so that they can make alternative arrangements, either the cross early or they reschedule their activities,” he stated.
Adams is confident that his team will be able to complete the works within the stipulated time and will have traffic flowing on the bridge soon after. He explained that the major component of the works to be done is the replacement of one of the pontoons that holds the eastern hydraulic cabin, which housed the controls for the retractor span at that end of the Bridge.
According to Adams, while the Harbour Bridge Company tries not to impede on vehicular traffic during maintenance works, this was unavoidable due to the sensitive nature of the controls in the hydraulic cabins.
“Normally, we would replace the pontoons with a temporary one, rehabilitate it and then reinstall it but in this case that is not possible because we have to reinstall the hydraulic cabin immediately so as to continue our normal operations in terms of opening and closing the Bridge,” he stated.
The DBHC General Manager added that “if we had executed the work in a traditional manner, it means we would have had to take out the pontoon, remove the cabin, take about a week to rehabilitate the pontoon and bring it back and then put on the cabin. That means, the bridge will not be able to retract for about a week and that is not an option.”
As such, he noted that on Sunday, the operators will remove the old pontoon, install the new one and immediately re-attach the cabin in order to have it up and running.
In executing the works, the Bridge Company had to fabricate a new pontoon, which commenced since 2014 and was completed last year to the tune of $46 million. Additionally, a lifting device had to be constructed at the cost of $2.8 million. This device will be used to remove the hydraulic cabin from the pontoon without any damages to the key component of the Bridge.
According to Adams, these works are part of a menu of maintenance works to be done throughout the year. While those remaining works will not entail the closure of the Bridge to vehicle traffic, it will require the Bridge being closed to marine traffic.
Adams noted that the Bridge Company has already begun engaging stakeholders such the fuel companies on this.