Ministry of Infrastructure, Port Services and Transport has released a statement on the status of the construction fault that occurred on the ALBA-funded DeMailley Bridge Reconstruction Project, four days after St. Lucia News Online first broke the news on the incident.
The Ministry, in a press release, explained that the structural integrity of the abutments has not been compromised and the bridge will be completed as scheduled at no extra cost.
The statement reads: “On Monday 23rd June 2014, during the casting of the concrete deck for the bridge at DeMailley, the steel reinforcement frame sagged in the center as a result of the props being compromised. At the time of the incident, about 1 ½ trucks of concrete had been poured.
“The props are the temporary external support mechanisms for the formwork and are removed after curing of the concrete. After inspection by technical staff of the Ministry of Infrastructure, Port Services and Transport, it was concluded that the reason for failure was a direct result of the weight of the concrete coupled with the pressure at which the concrete was pumped to causing the vertical support to settle and displace, resulting in a ripple failure.
“Minor remedial works are being carried out. The structural integrity of the abutments has not been compromised and the bridge will be completed as scheduled, and no increase in cost is envisaged.”
When contacted about the news tip on the day of the construction hiccup, an official in the ministry said the matter was a non-issue and a non-story. He was also not cooperative in providing contact information for the chief engineer/contractor for the project.
The De Mailley Bridge Reconstruction Project’s sod-turning ceremony took place in February 2014.
The bridge, which was damaged by Hurricane Tomas in 2010, will cost $1,769, 965.40. It is one of three of such structures which are being financed by ALBA through grant funds.
The two-lane reinforced concrete bridge project is expected to last seven months.