Engineers mull permanent heavy-duty Yamatwao Bridge

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first_imgThe team of Public Infrastructure Ministry (MPI) engineers who visited the site of the collapsed Yamatwao Bridge, which occurred over a week ago in South Rupununi, Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo), will be presenting their report and recommendations for a permanent structure to be built.Chief Roads and Bridges Officer at the Public Infrastructure Ministry, Ron Rahaman, told Guyana Times that the team is expected to submit its report today (Monday), following which discussions will be held on the way forward in terms of constructing a durable bridge that would facilitate the rigorous demand of heavy-duty vehicles that traverse the hinterland.Presently, a temporary bridge is in place, but it can accommodate only light vehicles.On June 1, the Yamatwao Bridge collapsed while a heavy-duty flatbed truck attempted to cross over it carrying an excavator. This development had left residents in the South Rupununi stranded, since the bridge was their only accessThe temporary Yamatwao Bridgeinto the community.The Ministry’s Hinterland Engineer, Jeffery Walcott, had told the Department of Public Information (DPI) last week that the owner of the truck, Cyril King, has financed the replacement of the decking and the bridge beams on the temporary bridge.Walcott noted that the MPI was “currently exploring the design and cost options for the reconstruction of a heavy-duty (durable) bridge which can accommodate heavier vehicles, as well as remedial works to the bridge approach.”Following the incident, the Public Infrastructure Ministry had urged operators in the hinterland to pay keen attention to the weight limits on bridges. “The overweight vehicle overextended the bridge’s capabilities, thereby causing the collapse. This incident compounds the Ministry’s call to road users within the hinterland to strictly adhere to weight limits, especially during the wet season; since non-adherence can lead to structural failures, as demonstrated now”, the MPI said in a release.Pointing out that this incident is not the first of its kind, the MPI sought to caution that those who do not comply with the weight limits will be held accountable.“Bridge collapses also affect communities, since they make traffic impassable and cut entire villages off from the rest of the country, and road users are urged to remain cognisant of their responsibilities to properly use the roadways.”This incident occurred mere days after small operators traversing the Linden-Lethem road called on authorities to suspend heavy duty vehicles from using the trail until the end of the May/June rainy season, since the weights are causing the already deplorable roads to worsen, making them almost impassable and posingThe Yamatwao Bridge collapsed with a truck carrying an excavatorrisks to commuters. In fact, it was pointed out that, almost daily, vehicles are overturning along the trail. The Natural Resources Ministry subsequently announced that several interior roads have been contracted for rehabilitation, including the Lethem trail.“On May 3, 2018, six road contracts valued at over $650 million were awarded to various contractors for the maintenance of the Rockstone-Mabura, Kurupukari-Annai-Lethem, and Linden-Ituni-Kwakwani Roads. The roads were identified following discussions with the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association and several miners and forest operators, who had explained that the condition of the roads was hindering their production efforts and costing them more to move supplies in and out of the interior. Ultimately, it is Government’s intention to assist miners and foresters to achieve and maintain high yields of production, and as has occurred in the past, the intervention became necessary,” the Natural Resources Ministry said.These works will commence after the May-June rainy season.last_img read more