Guyanese reiterate call for a new Demerara River Crossing soon

Guyanese on Saturday reiterated the call for a new crossing over the Demerara River, due to the numerous issues that continue to affect the existing structure, which leads to the constant obstruction in the traffic flow.

Their calls come on the heels of ongoing repairs at the Demerara Harbour Bridge (DHB) following an accident early Saturday morning when a fuel tanker collided with the bridge.

Commuters waiting in line at Stabroek Stelling

The Department of Public Information (DPI) spoke to commuters and passengers at the Stabroek Stelling who shared their concerns about the recurring issues at the bridge.

“We on the West Side is faced with a great challenge where the bridge is locked to our normal way of traffic on a daily basis. And it is challenging towards us as parents as consumers who have to come to town and can’t have to transact business on a daily basis…So, we’re calling on the government to ensure that a new bridge is put into place to accommodate this kind of situation and to deal with those who constantly affect us with our daily travels on the bridge,” Denise Langford expressed.

Resident of Pouderoyen, Region Three, Steven Clements expressed, “With the bridge being inoperable affects different people from different perspectives. First, it affects commuters. It also affects persons transacting business within the confines of Region Three and Region Four. Persons traversing the area whether to transport goods or to transport persons. It affects them negatively…I used the bridge to get to work and I am negatively affected.”

Clements indicated that he is unable to use his motorcar due to the inoperable bridge, “I have to literally fetch whatever I have to fetch to use the boat to get over there. If we have a bridge that  the ocean-going vessels could go under the bridge. That would be much better.”

Commuter, Rose

Another commuter, Rose (only name given) indicated that the accident at the bridge has inconvenienced her tremendously. She added that a new bridge will make her happy.

“I glad if they can get the bridge make quickly…I use the bridge every day,” she added.

Kevin Hutson

Kevon Hutson stated, “Well, we need a new bridge as soon as possible. I must say that we need a new bridge.”

Bato Singh

Bato Singh bemoaned, “to ketch this boat is congested and then when you come here, you have to ketch another transportation. We have we own transportation park over there where we does go to work. And now, you have to park it over the river and ketch transportation to come now and it’s more hard…Right about now, the life span done for the bridge…the time span done for the bridge.”

Hee Wing Chow

“It’s time now that we invest proper money to get proper things done. If it’s the only thing they do for the century, make a proper bridge, ” Hee Wing Chow expressed.

Tinsie Castle

Tinsie Castle highlighted, “It gonna be more hectic. Normally, it does be hectic when the bridge is working but now it’s not working. It’ll be much harder to ketch a transportation to get home…I think they need a new bridge in case something like this happens, we still have another bridge to get home.”

Garcia Semple

Garcia Semple expressed, “Well, it is a lot of inconvenience for us now because, usually, I would go at the bridge. But now, I have to use the boat. So, it’s very much inconvenience for me and I can see it’s for everybody as well.”

The Public Works Ministry back in May  signed a $52 billion (US$260 million) contract for the construction of the long-awaited new Demerara River Crossing.

The move falls into the government’s plans to expand and modernise Guyana’s transport infrastructure, and significantly reduce the incessant traffic woes on the East Bank of Demerara.

The project, which has been long in the making by the PPP/C Administration, was awarded to China Railway Construction Corporation Limited. It has begun and will be completed within two years.

The hybrid designed bridge will feature a modern four-lane structure (two carriageways), cycle lane, with a 2.65 kilometres length, driving surface of about 23.6 metres or 77.8 feet, with a lifespan of some 100 years.