Jamaica News: Residents of Mavis Bank and adjoining areas in East Rural St. Andrew now have easier access to their communities, following the rehabilitation of the Georges River Bridge in the constituency.
The bridge, which is located in Violet Bank, was renovated at a cost of $21 million by the National Works Agency (NWA).
It was officially re-opened by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, during a ceremony on Wednesday (August 21).
The project was initiated by Member of Parliament, the Most Hon. Juliet Holness, who, in her address during the ceremony, said the undertaking was a strategic move in a bid to improve the quality of life for the constituents.
In his remarks, Prime Minister Holness, who commended the NWA for the work undertaken, noted that the previous bridge, which was some 15 feet wide, was an impediment for motorists, as it could only accommodate one vehicle at a time.
The bridge has now been expanded to 36 feet and can now accommodate two large vehicles simultaneously.
“It is high enough to allow for unimpeded flow of the stream that runs underneath [and] it is strong enough to be able to withstand the vagaries of climate change,” Mr. Holness informed.
The Prime Minister noted that investing in the bridge is symbolic and part of ongoing work to improve the road conditions in the area and, in turn, boost the community’s economic capacity, particularly as a tourism attraction.
“In improving the road conditions of Gordon Town, we have literally given new life to an economy which existed before with great potential [and] which is now expanding greatly… the tourism industry here is growing,” he said.
Mr. Holness noted that widening the bridge is also important for agricultural access, especially for coffee farmers, as well as facilitating easier access for large trucks and moving material for ongoing construction work in the area.
He encouraged motorists to refrain from speeding and to manoeuvre with care when using the bridge.
The Prime Minister said he is aware that there are other bridges across the island that need attention, and assured that they will be dealt with in short order.
These include: the Windsor, Grosmond, and Lacovia bridges in St. Elizabeth; Leith Hall and Ramble bridges in St. Thomas; Baxter’s Mountain Bridge in St. Mary; and the Montego River Bridge in St. James.
“I want to assure you that your Prime Minister and your Government hear the cry. We are sensitive to it, and we have it programmed to be addressed in the same way that we have addressed the Version Gully Bridge in Bull Bay. We are now dealing with the Barracks River Bridge in St. Mary,” he said.
Mr. Holness further informed that the Chesterfield Bridge in St. Mary is almost complete.
“This Government is not ignoring your plight. We are doing what is necessary to address it speedily and in a systematic way. We might not be able to do it today or tomorrow, but I am giving you my commitment that we are going to do your bridge(s) in short order,” he assured.
Source: JIS News