North Windward flooding prompts motorists to use two noncommissioned bridges
A passenger van prepares to drive over one of the non commissioned bridges in North Windward to avoid the flooding on the old road below.
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April 28, 2023

North Windward flooding prompts motorists to use two noncommissioned bridges

Heavy showers over the weekend and into this week, resulted in residents of North Windward making use of two Bailey bridges that have not yet officially opened.

The new bridges at rivers in Overland and Noel have been completed for some time now, but are still not available for use by the public.

However, when the recent heavy rains made crossing the rivers impossible, motorists in the communities removed the barriers on the bridges and began using them to get to and from villages north of the Rabacca Dry River.


Parliamentary Representative for North Windward, Montgomery Daniel has said that the bridges have not yet been handed over to the government, as the certificate of completion is still outstanding.Minister Daniel addressed the matter on NBC radio on Wednesday, April 26 while responding to a question about the bridges from a listener.

He said there are problems with the Bailey bridge at Overland.

Daniel who is also Minister of Transport and Works, said that at the Overland bridge, “there seems to have been some design flaws.”

“If you are entering the bridge from north to south, the angle you are entering is almost at a right angle.

“The degree of slope is somewhat high,” he said.

The Minister added that this “design flaw needs to be corrected.”

He said the Ministry of Finance has already had discussions with the contractors, Sea Operations Ltd about the problem, as there would be an additional cost to have the design flaw remedied.

Minister Daniel, who is also the Deputy Prime Minister, noted on Wednesday,that the additional funds “were not immediately available.”

However, discussions between the Ministry and the contractor concluded that the corrective work has to be done on the bridge at Overland.

Minister Daniel added that once the work is completed, a certificate of completion will be issued and then the project will be handed over to the government.

“In all of this, the certificate of completion is not done.

“You can virtually say that the work has not been handed over to the government as yet.”

Daniel said that as Parliamentary Representative for the affected area, he has been having discussions with the Ministry of Finance, “to understand exactly where we are at.”

He said he “really wants to have the bridges open, ” and explained that in the absence of a certificate of completion, “any damage to the bridge will further cost the government.”

“One has to be careful with that,” Daniel stressed.

Minister Daniel however gave the assurance that remedial work will be done at the Overland bridge, as soon as “the funds are available.”

He also gave another timeline for the opening of the two Bailey Bridges that were originally expected to be in place on time for the start of the rainy season in 2022.

“I am really hopeful that all of these works will be completed by the end of June.”

The scheduled opening of the bridges has now been pushed back to sometime in July.

“We can’t open them under the present condition that they are which can really pose problems to the travelling public,” Daniel concluded.