Division of Quarries, Infrastructure an Urban Development workers on site at the Gru-Gru Patch bridge project. –
THE Division of Infrastructure. Quarries and Urban Development said the construction of a bridge for the Gru-Gru Patch community at Providence is moving apace and is expected to be completed by mid-October.
In a recent press release, the division said the demolition of the previous decades-old structure took place on August 9, and its in-house team oversaw the casting of the base of the bridge last Thursday.
According to engineering aide Dennely Grant, “The timeline is 45 days but seeing that we are in the rainy season, we are trying our best to expedite things so that it should not take more than the…estimated (time) for the construction of the culvert.”
The demolished bridge, constructed in the 1970s, had designs flaws which impeded its ability to accommodate large volumes of water during periods of heavy rainfall or the rainy season. As a consequence, generations of families at Gru-Gru Patch have faced the distressing circumstances of having to wade through or be marooned by flood waters, which tended to persist for several hours.
The new bridge or culvert crossing is expected to bring relief to approximately 50 residents and provide drivers with easier access to the community; the roadway will facilitate two-way traffic.
Two culverts with a diameter of two metres each will replace the previous culverts. They are three times the size, which makes for a taller crossing and wider passage to accommodate the volumes of water.
Infrastructure Secretary and area representative, Trevor James said, “I am saddened that the cries of the residents fell on deaf ears for such a long time. This level of neglect is an indictment on representatives of the previous administrations and their interests
in serving people.
“Therefore, delivering for the residents at Gru-Gru Patch is much more than improving their standard living…to them, it is tantamount to justice.” James added that under his leadership, the division will focus closely on communities throughout Tobago that have been marginalised and are in dire need of intervention.
During construction, residents will be able to access their properties via a temporary crossing erected by the division, which was certified safe by the OSH department.
Additionally, a shuttle service is also available to take the residents from the temporary crossing into the village and vice versa.
The division said it remains committed to utilising modern technology and sourcing cost effective solutions to infrastructural issues on the island.