New self-loading machine, power barge to boost DHB’s efficiency

The operations of the Demerara Harbour Bridge [DHB] will be significantly improved with the implementation of the new self-loading machine and power barge, resulting in greater efficiency while minimising traffic restrictions. 

At the simple handing-over ceremony on Friday, Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill said he is pleased with the equipment and the anticipated improvement.

Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill at the commissioning of the power barge

“What we are witnessing is the enhancement of their capability to get things done at a faster rate, to respond in a timelier manner,” he said.

He noted that the investment made by the government is significant and more beneficial economically.

“These kinds of investments are geared to one, bring about greater efficiency. Secondly, to reduce cost and to help us with more timely responses,” he emphasised.

The $73 million power barge or work platform was a pontoon refurbished to carry out emergency or scheduled maintenance work on the bridge in an effort to reduce downtime.

The fully automated barge will be fitted with a lifeboat with a 25-horsepower engine in the instance of an emergency.

The Power Barge

In addition, the barge will aid in carrying commuters from the East to the West side when the bridge is closed for the replacement of Span Nine.

Six persons will be trained to operate the power barge as it will be working on a 24-hour basis.

Meanwhile, the self-loading machine, which costs $40 million, will aid in removing immobile vehicles and conducting maintenance work on the bridge.

The three-in-one machine has a winch, a retractable tray and a crane.

DHBC’s General Manager, Wayne Watson extended gratitude for the new equipment as he commended the government’s efforts.

DHBC’s General Manager, Wayne Watson

“I must say thanks to the government because when we made the proposal it was readily accepted and approved. While we want to improve the efficiency of our maintenance work, we want to also minimise the commuters’ frustrations.”

The power barge and self-loading machine will become operational within the next two weeks.