The extent of the damage to the Demerara Harbour Bridge after it was rammed by a drifting tugboat and barge is now measurable. However, the cost to effect repairs is still to be fully calculated. Also, the total loss of revenue sustained during the 36-hour closure to all vehicular traffic and the continued closure to heavy-duty vehicles is set to be announced later, says Public Infrastructure Ministry’s Public Relations Officer (PRO), Krest Cummings.
Cummings, who spoke to the Guyana Standard today, said that a decision was taken by the Demerara Harbour Bridge Corporation (DHBC) to have the owners of the tugboat and barge reimburse the monies spent to effect repairs.
The PRO said that while the disclosure of the costs is important, the DHBC is not focused on that right now.
“The company is more focused on getting the bridge fixed and to have normalcy restored,” she said.
The official said also, that the heavy-laden trucks are not allowed to traverse the bridge, which is causing the non-delivery of goods and services to businesses and individuals living in Region Three (Essequibo Islands/West Demerara).
She said that the DHBC is working on fixing that particular issue and upon completion, the company will communicate to the ministry the particulars, which will then be disseminated to the media.
With regard to the loss of revenue, Cummings said that that too will be disclosed later.
She noted that it would be inappropriate for the DHBC to make pronouncements on revenue loss in wake of the inconvenience that was placed on commuters and other users of the link.
Reports were made about wholesale grocery outlets not getting to transport items to their customers. Also, sand truck operators cannot get materials to builders who are carrying out projects in the West Demerara area. Further, on the night of the incident, more than 15 trucks that were shuttling perishable items from the Essequibo area, were forced to return with their goods to their points of origin, or make alternative arrangements.