GIS – Residents of the Western Village of Canaries had an opportunity, last Thursday, to view the designs and provide feedback for a new Canaries bridge during a community consultation with the Ministry of Infrastructure, Port Services and Transport.
Speaking at the meeting, Permanent Secretary Allison A. Jean, said the Bailey bridge became a major concern following damage sustained during Hurricane Tomas in 2010.
The bridge was eventually washed away during the 2013 Christmas Eve Trough, and a temporary bridge was erected in its place, to restore access to the town of Soufriere.
During the consultation, the technical team presented the designs which, they indicated were in line with international standards. Among the essential tenants of the design criteria was that the bridge should be constructed to withstand a 1 in 100 year storm event, and should be resilient to flooding and earthquakes.
The new bridge will be built to accommodate two traffic lanes and would also be equipped with a sidewalk on either side. In an effort to minimize the risk of flooding, the new bridge will be raised by a half-metre above the level of the existing Bailey bridge, while river protection work including a three-metre wall will be built along the northern side of the river to protect the village from flooding.
Parliamentary Representative Hon. Dr. Desmond Long said he was happy with the proposed river protection work which will help lessen the flooding that the village experiences during heavy rainfall events. He also expressed satisfaction that plans were at an advanced stage.
Prequalified contractors may be asked to submit tender documents for the project by September, with contracts awarded by November.
The Project is being funded by the Caribbean Development Bank.