Bridge collapses in Stony Hill
The Jamaica Constabulary Force is urging motorists and pedestrians to use alternative routes and exercise extreme caution following the collapse of the Long Bridge in Stony Hill, St Andrew, yesterday.
The bridge leads to several communities, including Airy Castle and the Bowden Hill district, which is home of the popular Falling Edge Waterfalls and Bowden Hill Primary and Infant School.
The driver of a truck that was crossing the bridge at the time of the collapse narrowly escaped serious injury by jumping out of the vehicle after realising that the pipes underneath the structure had broken and the road had begun to sink.
According to one resident, the bridge has been creaking for some time, so yesterday's collapse was expected.
"It is a very old bridge, so this was somewhat expected. We really hope that this will be fixed in the shortest order. If not, a lot of persons will be affected. We have to think about the students who have school, and if this is not dealt with hastily, the residents will be marooned. A several little district this bridge lead to," he said.
Tosha Schwapp, councillor for the Stony Hill division, said that she will be meeting with the technocrats today to discuss alternative routes.
"The community has not been marooned, but a lot of persons will be affected because they will have to walk through a riverbed, and we have blocked the way so the vehicles don't come over," she said.
She stated that the broken bridge will pose a major inconvenience to the residents and other persons who use the Bowden Hill area.
"The majority of the persons have already taken their vehicles out, but it is going to be very inconvenient because it is going to affect economic development, a school, and businesses. There are over 3,000 persons that live over there in Bowden Hill," she said.
While admitting that the Long Bridge is extremely old, Schwapp said that disobedience may have caused the structure to collapse.
"The bridge has been maintained, and there is a sign there that advises that it should not take anything heavier than 12 tons, and a lot of big trucks have been travelling on it," she said.