The Dry River Bridge located in Harbour View, St. Andrew was opened on Wednesday, November 9, 2011. The Bridge was re-opened following the washing away of the previous one from flood waters associated with Hurricane Gustav in August, 2009.
Speaking at the opening, keynote speaker, Prime Minister Andrew Holness lauded all those who were associated with the construction and subsequent opening of the facility. He said he was particularly pleased that the work was completed on time and within budget. Continuing he said, “I see the re-opening of the bridge as a catalyst for economic growth – the eastern belt of the island comprising parishes such as St. Thomas and Portland are now reconnec ted to Kingston and this can only boost the quality of economic and social activities.”
Prime Minister Holness also used the opportunity to focus on aspects of the Jamaica Development Infrastructure Programme – JDIP, noting that it has worked to the advantage of the vast majority of Jamaicans. He outlined that under the Project 12 new bridges will be constructed; 10 of which have already been completed; 7 retaining walls will be erected; 200,000 square metres of roadway is to be patched and 9,000 jobs are expected to be generated as a result of the various components of the programme. He also thanked the various multi-lateral institutions which have collaborated to make a success of the Project.
Also speaking at the ceremony was Mr. Ancil Brewster, IDB Representative who expressed his pleasure at being associated with the Project. He highlighted the fact that he and the IDB were pleased to have achieved one of the key objectives of the IDB’s programme of works in Jamaica – that of rehabilitating essential parts of the transportation network. He pointed to the problem of disaster mitigation management not only in Jamaica but in the entire region and spoke to the fact that 24% of GDP was lost due to climatic challenges. To this end he called for the construction of infrastructure that could withstand such eventualities while pledging his and the IDB’s support in this regard.
For his part, Works Minister Mike Henry congratulated all linked to the Project especially in respect of that fact that it came in on time and under budget. He placed the Bridge Opening in the context of the multi-modal transport system. In this respect he saw it as an important component along with the Palisadoes Shoreline and Protection Project; the introduction of the East Coast Highway; the role to be played by the Harbour View Weigh Scale Station and the eventual vision for Harbour View to become a ‘Maritime town’ to accommodate the Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI).
Other speakers at the ceremony, included, NWA’s CEO, Mr. Patrick Wong; Mr. Joseph Hibbert, MP for East Rural St. Andrew; Mr. Richard Havercroft, Project Manager, KIER Contsruction Ltd; Hon. Othneil Lawrence, State Minister in the Ministry of Transport and Works; Mr. James Robertson, MP for Western St. Thomas; Rev. Leslie Hoo Sang who said prayers and Mrs. Beryl Urquhart, President of the Harbour View Citizens Association, who gave the vote of thanks.
The new bridge accommodates four lanes of traffic, consistent with the requirement given, the projected traffic volumes entering from an easterly direction. Its design in length and clearance is to safely allow for a 100 year storm flow to pass through its opening. It has been built under the Transportation Infrastructure Rehabilitation Programme through a loan from the IDB. Contractors for the Project were KIER Construction Ltd in the amount J$791M.