After ten months of having to detour through the outskirts of Gouyave, motorists, pedestrians and the surrounding businesses & residents of St. John can now breathe a sigh of relief as a soft opening of the newly constructed Lance Bridge in Gouyave, St. John made the bridge once again accessible to vehicular traffic on Tuesday.
Parliamentary Rep. for St. John- Hon. Alvin DaBreo said that with the opening of the bridge, the motoring public; in particular those from St. Mark, St. Patrick and the St. John will be very pleased and can at least use the bridge while construction work continues.
Work still to be done, he said includes the sidewalk and explained that the reason for the delay is because of some issues with some of the residents who live very close to the sidewalks. He noted that Physical Planning Unit together with the Ministry of Works is in discussions with the residents. Most of the issues are resolved and work will continue very soon.
According to the minister, one side of the bridge will see the installation of a ramp to accommodate wheelchair access for the differently abled persons and on one side steps will be erected.
The previous bridge was one lane and very low with no space for pedestrians and as the town of Gouyave is on the same level as the river whenever heavy rains fell as it overflowed the bridge blocking it, hence the reason for the height and the width of the new bridge; if anything comes down the river can freely pass.
Minister for Infrastructure Development, Public Utilities, Energy, Transportation, and Implementation–Hon. Gregory Bowen was also present at the opening said that the ministry takes such projects very seriously. Having recognized the problems faced by the commuting public, they saw it fit to move speedily to open the bridge for access to the motoring public. He commended all those who were directly involved in the opening.
The grand official opening of the Lance Bridge is expected to occur after all the construction features including the sidewalk are completed next month.