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January 22, 2014
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Harbour Head bridge to replaced
Jolyn Bryan, Star Writer


A man looks over the collapsed Harbour Head bridge which is more than 120 years old. The average lifespan of this type of bridge is between 50 and 100 years. - Jolyn Bryan

Residents of Pear Tree River, St Thomas, can now rest a bit easier following assurances from the National Works Agency (NWA) and Dr Fenton Ferguson, member of parliament for Eastern St Thomas, that the Harbour Head bridge will be replaced shortly.

The bridge, often referred to as the Pear Tree River bridge, has been in a state of disrepair for several years, and the residents have made several appeals to their political representatives and held several demonstrations to highlight the issue.

Dr Ferguson, who was speaking after a tour of roads in his constituency, pointed out that the bridge has always been earmarked for repair.

"When I was minister of state with responsibility for works, this bridge, many years ago, was on a programme along with two other bridges to have been done. But I think the good news is that it is definitely on to be done this year. I have been writing also to Minister Omar Davies, and last year we got a reply saying that it would be in the 2014-2015 financial year," he aid.

Councillor for the Port Morant division, Victor Hutchinson, expressed his satisfaction that the bridge is finally on the agenda, pointing out that he has raised the issue with the St Thomas Parish Council and the member of parliament several times.

Stephen Shaw, communications and customer service manager at the NWA, said the bridge is one of 28 to be replaced or repaired under the Major Infrastructure Development Programme, and that work would begin before the end of the financial year in March.

He is also appealing to motorists, especially those taxi operators who transport children, to desist from using the bridge which has outlived its usefulness.

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