Minister of Transport and Works, Mike Henry, declared the Gordon Town Bridge open, one of 11 bridges being constructed across the island under the National Works Agency/Government of Jamaica billion dollar R.A. Murray Priority Bridge Programme. After 75 years of existence, the oldGordon Town Bridge in St. Andrew was closed in January of this year to facilitate its demolition and replacement. The new Bridge was completed at a cost of just under $88 million by contractors Aegisco Limited. Also, significant river training works were undertaken in the process. This involved blasting and removing huge boulders that restricted the flow of water along the river channel, and effecting protection of the embankments from erosion. Additionally, the NWA carried out rehabilitation work along the Gordon Town Road, which had been damaged by Tropical Storm Gustav in August 2008, to a cost of US$700,000.
Speaking at the handing over ceremony in the community, Minister Henry lauded the efforts of the work team in ensuring that the project was completed in a timely and cost-effective manner. “We are very pleased to officially commission the new structure and the supporting facilities into operation today, bringing relief and more comfort to the people who routinely travel along this corridor. It is important to note that despite the financial challenges that the government has faced over recent times, many costly but very important works like these are still being done in recognition of our mandate to respond effectively to the needs of the communities the population in general.”
The scope of the works included reinforced concrete abutments, steel girder with reinforced concrete deck, the construction of approach roads and the construction of retaining walls, river training works and road markings. Minister Henry also appealed to motorists, pedestrians, and especially children to use the bridge in a safe manner, and urged the members of the community to help protect and care for the structure.