Rusted bridge materials are ‘precautionary’
The rusted building materials by the St George's swing bridge are a “precautionary measure” while strengthening work takes place, the Ministry of Public Works has said.
A spokeswoman added that although the Bailey bridge materials were originally intended to relieve the weight restriction on the corroded infrastructure, engineers had since developed a better alternative.
Instead, the fortification work will be done from below, helping to reduce traffic build-up and improving emergency vehicle access.
“This also frees the Bailey bridge to be used for its intended purpose — for emergency situations during the hurricane season,” she said.
The swing bridge — which links St David's to St George's — has been closed since April 2014, allowing motorists across but not opening for ships attempting to pass through.
Minister of Public Works Craig Cannonier has described the structure as “seriously compromised” and promised that the issue has been assigned priority status.
February's 2016-17 Budget statement revealed that $20 million has been set aside to fix the swing bridge.
The spokeswoman added that the construction parts did not rust due to being left outside since January, but that the disassembled Bailey bridge was more than 30 years old, having been acquired from the British Army.
“Some components now require refurbishment or replacement,” she said.
Regarding the upcoming strengthening work, the spokeswoman added: “A contract for these interim works is expected to be awarded shortly, and will take roughly eight to 12 weeks to perform.
“Requests for proposal are in development for the replacement of the actual bridge, and a temporary bypass route to allow the work to take place.”