The newly constructed Bonne Terre Bridge was officially opened last week Thursday, August 8, 2013.
According to a government release, the bridge was one of the more significant accomplishments under the Ministry of Infrastructure, Port Services and Transport’s (MIPST) bridge maintenance projects for 2012/2013.
Regarded as a milestone, the Bonne Terre Bridge was constructed after it was discovered that the Armco pipes which created the initial bridge had outlived their useful life. This had resulted in persistent failure of the road carriage way, the government release states.
According to the release, as recently as May 2012, the MIPST had to undertake remedial work on that section of the road following heavy rains.
The new bridge is expected to protect homes situated along the Bone Terre ravine in the event of flooding. It also hoped to create a sense of comfort in minds of those traversing the route.
According to the release, the Bonne Terre Bridge has a projected life span of 120 years and will undergo periodic routine maintenance. It will accommodate a volume flow produced by storm that occurs with a frequency of one in every fifty years, according to the release. It consists of a four- lane bridge to accommodate anticipated future traffic volumes, with only two allowed at this time.
“While there were some factors such as high and unusual rainfall in April 2013, the relocation of the Wasco water mains, delays in arrival of formwork, and a change in scope intended to increase foundation spread, which contributed to the project being completed behind schedule, the bridge and the attendant temporary bypass road remained within the original cost of $5,559,646.62,” the release said.
“This new bridge is a welcomed addition to the bridge and culvert stock of the island. Hurricane Tomas caused severe damage to a number of bridges across the island and so this new Bonne Terre Bridge is consistent with the MIPST’s efforts to build resilient infrastructure which takes into account the development needs of the country,” it further stated.
The release said that construction will also begin on two major bridges (La Dig/Deville and Mocha) which were also affected by the passage of Hurricane Tomas.
The opening ceremony was held on the site of the Bonne Terre new bridge.