Tuesday, September 04, 2012 – Its official. The contract for the construction of the new Bonne Terre bridge has been awarded to Integrated Development Contractors who will engage 100% Saint Lucian workers and supervisors.
The contracts were signed during a press conference on Tuesday, September 4th and the project which is estimated at EC$5.5 million is to be completed in six months time.
The new bridge will be a single span, reinforced, concrete bridge, which is designed to be 11.2 meters long, and is meant to accommodate 4-lane traffic and have pedestrian side walks on either side.
Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Port Services and Transport Honourable, Philip J Pierre, says the new bridge is one of several major interventions which will be undertaken this financial year.
“We have managed to make substantial savings in engineering and consultancy fees for this project using the Competitive Selector Tender process. All the players involved, including the 20-odd employee,s are all local and supervision will be undertaken by staff of the Ministry of Infrastructure. Funds for the project will be sourced from an EC$13 million allocation, provided in the 2012/2013 budget. These are the facts, there are no secrets and no refusal to disclose the cost of the project before construction. We are being open and transparent with the use of the taxpayer’s money in the country”.
The new bridge is being constructed as the five culverts on the existing bridge have failed resulting in a noticeable depression on the road surface.
A bypass road is to be constructed parallel to the existing culvert and will allow works on the new bridge to progress uninterrupted. The bypass road will be paved. Constructing the bypass road will be a cheaper alternative to commuters rather than using a diversion route. There will be no increase in fuel for commuters having to use a longer diversion route; there will be less wear and tear on commuter vehicles; there will be no loss in travel time to commuters and there will be no loss of revenue to businesses located near the bridge site.
Chief Transport Officer Lenita Joseph says a traffic management plan has been developed for the period of construction.
“We will ensure that appropriate signs such as caution and go slow be erected in the vicinity of the work site to provide cautionary notification. Motorists and pedestrians are urged to be vigilant as there will be heavy equipment at work. The two-way by-pass road will be constructed to have the same load capacity as the primary road and is anticipated to sustain the same levels of vehicular traffic, therefore it is expected that there will be little disruption to vehicular traffic to and from the northern belt”.
The project is expected to be completed by the end of January next year.