Minister of Transport and Works, Mike Henry, recently opened the Angels River Bridge in Frankfeild, Clarendon. The original bridge which connected the mid-island town of May Pen with upper Manchester, into St. Ann and the NorthCoast, dated back to some time in the early 1900, and was serving residential, tourism, agricultural and light industrial interests. The former bridge, which was in a very advanced state of deterioration, was narrow and formed a natural hindrance to traffic flow which necessitated road widening to accommodate the expected increased traffic. Due to the economic character of the region, there was great demand for replacing the old structure, as without the new bridge at the location along the corridor, the alternative route was 22 kilometers long.

This represents the fourth bridge that has been opened over the last two weeks under the RA Murray Bridge Rehabilitation Programme. Speaking at the Opening, Minister Henry underscored the importance of the bridge to the members of the community and residents from adjoining districts that use the bridge daily.

“Travel and transportation are critical to economic development and empowerment among our people, both in our urban and rural settings. Hence, it is noteworthy that three of the four bridges which I mentioned, are located in deep rural communities, one in upper St. Andrew, another in West Portland, and the third right here in Frankfield.”

The overall scope of works involved bridge foundation excavation, abutment foundation works (concrete & steel), launching of bridge girders, installation of bridge deck forms, installation of bridge deck (concrete & steel), construction of sidewalks, approach roads, protective works and road markings.

The new facility involved a bridge construction cost of US$1,314,791. The preliminary works, including the approach roads and protective works, involved a cost of approximately US$400,000. A two-lane bridge with sidewalks has now replaced a single-lane bridge. There is improvement to safety, reduced travel time, transportation costs and reduction in traffic congestion as a result of reduced traffic volume.