DHB feasibility study completed, recommends three-lane low bridge at Houston – Versailles

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The final report of the feasibility study for the new Demerara Harbor Bridge River Crossing by Dutch company Leivense CSO is completed. More importantly, the study has recommended a low bridge at Houston (East Bank of Demerara) – Versailles (West Bank of Demerara) with three lanes and a movable section to transit seagoing vessels, as the best solution.

A view of what the three-lane low bridge would look like.

Due to limited road capacity, an increase in traffic, and countless maintenance works, the feasibility study was launched by the Leivense CSO on January 15, 2017, at the cost of $146.3M.

According to a press release by the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, the current two-lane steel floating bridge, which connects the East Bank of Demerara at Peters Hall with the West Bank of Demerara at Meer Zorgen, sees about 20,000 vehicles plying the structure each day; an increase of 5% over the years.

The location was recommended because of its low investment cost. The bridge shall be designed with a minimum clearance of 17.5 m above Chart Datum (CD) to allow uninterrupted passage of shipping vessels.

The report states that “A low bridge is about 20% less expensive than a high bridge (with a reduced height of 43.5 m CD).  Compared to the high bridge, the low bridge also has an estimated 15% higher lane capacity and less risk of breakdown of trucks and cargo fallen off.”

Overview of an artist’s impression of what the three-lane low bridge would look like.

The new three-lane bridge is designed in such a way, to have a double lane in the direction of most traffic, and one lane in the other direction.

It was also recommended that the city road network be improved and extended to serve the present and future traffic demand. The release also explained, since the eastern side of the East Bank Public road is not at the same level as its western end, significant ramps and roadworks will be required on the eastern end of the road. This solution will have a significant impact on the urban locations of Houston and Eccles, Peters Hall and Nandy Park.

The project costs of the low three-lane bridge at Houston –  Versailles is estimated at USD$170M, including interest for pre-financing during construction.

The 1.25-mile-long Demerara Harbour Bridge – the main link between East and West Demerara for people and cargo – was opened in July 1978 and was expected to last only 10 years, but its life-span has been expanded.

 

By: Zanneel Williams

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