Minister of Transport and Works, Dr. Omar Davies has instructed the National Works Agency (NWA) to take immediate steps to ensure the integrity of the May Pen Bridge in Clarendon. The footing of Center Pier of the 30 year old structure has been badly scoured and needs protective work.

The May Pen Bridge is located along the main road leading from Mineral Heights and is the main structure across the Rio Minho that facilitates travel towards Mandeville, Manchester.

Minister Davies says that given the importance of the structure to the movement of hundreds of residents and the potential danger of it collapsing, the NWA should have the matter rectified immediately.

A technical team from the NWA has already completed a design for the protective works, which should commence shortly. The team has also been mandated to provide Minister Davies with an updated plan as to the long term solution to the problem with the bridge.

The NWA has determined that the space for the discharge of water beneath the bridge (hydraulic opening) is too small, hence its abutments and piers are highly susceptible to scouring.

In the meantime, Dr. Davies has also instructed that Phase Two of works on the May Pen Rail Bridge be undertaken. The bridge which had shifted out of alignment and was in imminent danger of collapsing was last year repaired under the Jamaica Development Infrastructure Programme (JDIP). Works however remained outstanding on the superstructure, sections of which are badly rotted.

Minister Davies says the defective sections of the superstructure are to be repaired and the bridge repainted