The Ministry of Public Infrastructure is putting measures in place to quickly address some residents’ concerns, as it optimises the final design for the new bridge at Moruca.
Speaking with the Department of Public Information (DPI), Hinterland Engineer, Jeffrey Walcott explained that the geotechnical investigation for the new bridge was completed last July, and the ministry has since been working on the final design.
The aim, he said, is to deliver a functional and resilient infrastructure that will better serve the community. The issues of flooding and river traffic which affect the residents have been key considerations during the design process.
“There are difficulties in securing and moving extremely long piles, hence the ministry is pursuing an option which will allow for the use of more common lengths. The ministry is also incorporating longer span beams which will allow for piles being driven less frequently in the channel so that it can remain open to river traffic. However, full-length steel beams do require some time for procurement since the sizes required must generally be imported”, Walcott explained.
The $119M contract was awarded to Mohammed Ramzan Ali Khan Construction Company. Walcott said the contractor will resume work in the new week. “The focus will be on getting facilities for alternative crossing in place and addressing any safety concerns in the interim. Major dismantling will commence when all the major items have been acquired to minimise the construction time.”
The community has been engaged, Walcott pointed out. “The ministry has formally met and discussed with representatives from the Regional Administration and Council in May and July of this year, moving the project forward.” He added that next week, a formal visit will be made to update the community.
Standard design drawings were provided to the Assistant Regional Executive Officer (AREO), Toshao and Village Council, and bill of quantity was subsequently provided to the former.
The Hinterland Engineer expressed his appreciation to the council for ensuring that all nearby shops were relocated “for the smooth and uninterrupted flow of work”.
The ministry has deployed a full-time engineer in the Region, as well as a support team from its Head Office and is committed to working with the Region, Toshao and Village Council to ensure quality work is done and the community gets value for money.
A consultant was also engaged to provide sufficient technical support and supervision services during critical aspects of the work.
Ranetta La Fleur
Images: Jeffrey Walcott (MOPI
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