FRESH CREEK, ANDROS — Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister and a delegation of Ministry of Works and Local Government officials inspected the Fresh Creek Bridge in Central Andros this morning as engineers prepare to execute a temporary fix to resume use of the bridge.
“The temporary measures in fixing that bridge, so it can be used very shortly, and it seems as if once their reports are completed as it relates to that structure, they will resume traffic on the bridge,” said Andros Administrator Glenn Lightbourne.
“But he (Bannister) is also inspecting other bridges that are under construction in the district.
“That will include the Staniard Creek Bridge, the London Creek Bridge, or the London Bridge and so, he is inspecting those other bridges.”
The bridge provides the only road crossing to Fresh Creek.
In August, a mail boat leaving the Fresh Creek dock reportedly “lost control” and struck the bridge, causing major damage.
The government has operated a ferry to transport individuals and vehicles since mid-August.
According to Lightbourne, an average of 200 vehicles have been transported per day.
“We are still using the ferry barge to carry persons and cars back and forth,” Lightbourne said.
“It’s been almost two months, so persons have adopted and gotten used to scheduling themselves, especially persons who live south of the bridge… because most of the commerce is on the other side of Fresh Creek and going up north.
“So, they have adjusted themselves to that.
“Once it is available and open for regular traffic, I’m sure it will be a relief for many a person.”
According to the Ministry of Works, it is believed strong winds and current led the vessel to come into contact with the bridge.
The bridge was closed following the incident.
However, the bridge was known to be in poor condition and there was an “urgent need” to construct a replacement.
It said a replacement was made a priority project.
In March, a contract was signed with a local firm, Caribbean Coastal Services, to undertake the engineering studies and design of the replacement of the bridge.
“The Ministry of Public Works is urgently working in conjunction with Caribbean Coastal Services to finalize a repair solution for the bridge,” it said.