Daily Archives: 07/27/2012

Build a new bridge

Build a new bridge


The collapse of the Demerara Harbour Bridge (DHB) should serve as a wake-up call to remind us that it has served us long beyond its ‘expiration’ date. It was completed after two years of construction activity and was opened to traffic in 1978. It was conceptualised as a temporary arrangement to address the burgeoning traffic between Georgetown and western Guyana.
According to its builder: “The Demerara Harbour Bridge – in Georgetown, Guyana – is a 6,074-feet (1,851 m) long floating toll bridge…  link(ing) the main city of Georgetown with West Bank Demerara. When it was completed in 1978 it was the world’s longest floating bridge. It was funded by the British Government and designed, manufactured and erected by Thos Storey. Despite being required to last for only 10 years during which a permanent structure was to be built.”

Even as far back as pre-1992, there had been several instances of sections of the bridge floating away, down the Demerara River. It is a tribute to the doggedness of the DHB management and maintenance team that the bridge has survived for so long beyond its anticipated lifetime. As the builder asserted, a permanent bridge was expected to have been built by 1988, but we all know by then the Guyanese economy had collapsed and the following year we were on an IMF bailout Economic Recovery Programme.             Continue reading

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