The Infrastructure of that town was ravaged, and in particular the road network around Soufriere was seriously affected. Fond St. Jacques and nearby communities were particularly hard hit, with a number of casualties being recorded there.
The Ministry of Infrastructure, Port Services and Transport (MIPST) has made significant progress in rehabilitating the damaged Infrastructure around the Soufriere/Fond St. Jacques community, and some normalcy is returning.
However, the MIPST remains very concerned about the quality of Infrastructure which exists in the Soufriere community, and has began the process of repairing such infrastructure. In late 2012, the MIPST commenced work on the construction of a new Bridge in Cresslands costing over $3 Million. Work is progressing smoothly on this project, and we anticipate that this bridge will be officially opened soon.
For some time now, the MIPST has been monitoring the deterioration of the La Dig (Mocha) Bridge. The latest investigation followed the emergence of two (2) potholes on this bridge, which further confirmed that the Bridge had outlived its usefulness, and keeping this bridge open to vehicular traffic was very risky.
Therefore, in the interest of public safety, and to avoid loss of life or serious injury and damage to property, the MIPST decided to close the Mocha Bridge to vehicular traffic from Friday 24th May 2013.
Designs for the construction of a replacement La Dig (Mocha) Bridge have been completed for some time now. The replacement Bridge is part of a consignment of fifteen (15) Bailey bridges which were ordered in July 2012 and are expected to be on island by the end of June 2013. Work is expected to commence on construction of the La Dig Bridge soon after.
The Bailey Bridges were ordered to replace a number of bridges across the country and to have a stock of bridges on island which can be easily erected in the event of a natural disaster.
The MIPST is also aware of deteriorating road conditions, particularly those near Fond St. Jacques, and every effort will be made to address those issues at the soonest.
Consequently, persons wishing to get to the communities of Belle Plain, Belle Fond, Esperance and Bois Den are advised to use the Myers Bridge access road, while persons travelling to Fond St. Jacques and Mocha can use the Soufriere/Fond St. Jacques road.
The MIPST regrets any inconvenience that this development may cause. The MIPST also calls for the cooperation of all as it endeavors to provide the required infrastructure for the social and economic advancement of the affected communities.