DHB ‘Span Nine’ slated for replacement on July 24
–Stakeholder consultation hosted to address concerns
Guyanese residing, travelling, or conducting business in Region Three are advised that the Demerara Harbour Bridge (DHB) will be closed from July 24 at 11:59 pm to July 27 at 11:59 pm.
The three-day closure will facilitate the replacement of the old span nine with the new span valued at $1.2 billion.
On Wednesday, Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill spearheaded a public stakeholder meeting at the Umana Yana to ensure people are well prepared for the closure.
The meeting addressed all the factors that need to be considered to ensure public order and safety.
“ I can say that this closure is not going to be a sudden one where we have an accident and it is not anticipated but this one is a planned, anticipated and hopefully coming out of this consultation it will be one that we are adequately prepared for, so that we can be able to get things done,” the minister noted.
Additionally, the minister addressed concerns of the general public which will see water taxis operating on a 24-hour basis with no change in the fares.
Enhanced security will be provided, which includes lighting on both sides of the river.
Police officers will also be on the ground enforcing the law and providing assistance to citizens.
The ministry has committed to providing free transportation to citizens from the junction to the stelling in an effort to reduce congestion.
A 24-hour water ambulance will be on standby for persons in need of medical attention.
Further, the minister took the opportunity to urge distributors and suppliers of goods to factor in the duration of the closure to ensure adequate supplies are distributed.
Airlines are also urged to consider an extended check-in period for passengers.
In addition to these interventions, Minister Edghill has committed to exploring the suggestions made by stakeholders during the engagement.
As a result a compulsory meeting with speedboat operators will be hosted to ensure they are operating within the guidelines and care is provided to citizens, especially senior citizens, pregnant women, and persons living with disabilities.
Meanwhile, it was highlighted by the Chairman of the DHB, Ravi Ramcharitar that work on span nine “was planned since last year to ensure public safety” recognising that the existing span was in a deplorable state mechanically.
Other repair works are set to be undertaken on the high span as the bridge will not be operational for three days.
A contract has already been awarded to conduct the works.