Cash-strapped Berbice Bridge suffers “deterioration”, pontoons not serviced in years

Cash-strapped Berbice Bridge suffers “deterioration”, pontoons not serviced in years

 

The Berbice Bridge (photo taken from quazoo.com)

The pontoons on which the Berbice River Bridge floats are deteriorating because they have not been serviced or replaced in the past six years, prominent civil engineer, Bert Carter said.

“You can  expect some amount of deterioration,” he said when asked what could be the condition of the pontoons in the absence a visual inspection.

Fearing that that bridge might collapse, Retired Major General Joseph Singh of The Moray House Trust has volunteered to write the Chairman of the Berbice Bridge Board, Dr. Surendra Persaud to urge authorities to intervene urgently to avoid a collapse or sinking of the bridge.

The Berbice Bridge was opened in December, 2008.

Neither the Chairman of the Berbice Bridge Company, Dr. Persaud nor any member of the Bridge Committee was present at the forum held at Moray House on Camp and Quamina Streets, Georgetown. Singh said they were invited.

Dr. Persaud is also Chairman of the NIS’ board. When Demerara Waves contacted Persaud on Tuesday, he insisted that he would no comment  because the Berbice Bridge is a private company. He suggested that questions be sent to him in writing for consideration by the Board, “but I cannot promise that we will respond”.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Kenneth Jordan was not immediately available, but sources said government could ask the Berbice Bridge Company for its maintenance schedule to ascertain when last the pontoons were checked, removed, scraped and re-painted.

Carter noted that although none of the shareholders got dividends because the Berbice Bridge Company never made a profit, government’s National Insurance Scheme (NIS), which invested in GY$950 million in preferred bonds have since recouped that investment in December 2015  plus another GY$500 million.

Responding to a suggestion by Valmikki Singh that one of the pontoons should be removed and inspected instead of waiting for the bridge to collapse, Carter said local construction company, INFAB, had estimated that the cost of constructing a jack-up pontoon, dredging the area, removing  pontoon number three, replace it with a reserve pontoon and replacing the serviced pontoon would cost GY$177 million. Valmikki further suggested that one of the spare pontoons be taken to Houston as a “least cost” option for inspection to ascertain what might be the condition of the other pontoons.

Civil Engineer, Bert Carter

“It’s quite a nightmare when you think about it and then you are not speaking to anybody who is willing to listen and that is the big problem,” he said

Describing the Berbice Bridge as a “political football,” Carter said that government has refused to provide funding or approve an increase in the fares for the loss-making bridge which has so far failed to register an increase in traffic. “The traffic has not increased more than one percent in any one year and we cannot get a ‘raise’ from the government. We applied to the government for a raise in the fare and they say it’s too high already so we can’t raise the fare, we can’t get money from them in the meantime the pontoons are like me- they are getting old and tired,” he said.

The APNU+AFC coalition had promised lower Berbice Bridge crossing tolls in its 2015 general election campaign.

Speaking at a public forum held at Moray House, Carter said it would cost GY$78 million alone for return transportation to move the 39 pontoons to a dry dock at Houston, East Bank Demerara to be examined beyond the waterline.  Carter said the servicing of the pontoons could cost US$19 million.

Alternatively, he said a dry-dock facility was designed for  the Berbice Bridge and was estimated to cost GY$61 million. He said that would allow for the movement and hoisting of the pontoons during high tide for sandblasting.

At the same time,  the former Board Director of the Berbice Bridge said the two reserve pontoons that have been on standby since 2012 but “they themselves need to be dry-docked”.Carter remarked that he “retired hurt”  from the Board in November, 2017 because  “the spare pontoons had been in the water since 2012. The jack-up barge was designed since 2015. What (are) we waiting for? for Christmas? And all the time you are hearing you don’t have money, you don’t have this, you don’t have that. I just say to hell with that.”

Retired Major General, Joseph Singh.

Major General Singh remarked that there was no provision for maintenance of the bridge that was opened in 2008, and ever since the pontoons have missed three three-year cycles  or a maximum of two five year cycles of maintenance.

“The burning issue here is what it is that can be done by the management committee of the bridge in collaboration with other partners including the government of Guyana to assure the travelling public and Guyanese on the whole that this bridge is not going to one day collapse because of the lack of maintenance below the water-line,” Singh said.

The former telecommunications executive  said while it is being said that there is no money, if something happens “I assure you that money will be found and it’s probably going to cost much more in the long-run”.

President of the Berbice Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ryan Alexander

Chairman of the Berbice Chamber of Commerce, Ryan Alexander said the Berbice Bridge is not a member of both the Berbice Chamber and the Private Sector Commission, but he has never heard its representatives raised any concerns about the condition of that crossing. “I am going to take it to the Berbice  River Bridge because I need to find out what is their position and I possibly would have to summon a meeting with them at the Chamber of Commerce and hear what’s going on because definitely it would affect trade in Berbice should that bridge go down,” he said.

Prior to the opening of the Berbice Bridge, ferries were used for passengers and large amounts of cargo to cross that waterway.

Original Post
Billy Ram Balgobin posted:

What is the government of Guyana doing? They have been there for three years and all what they are doing is keep blaming the PPP. Come on men! If the PPP was there that bridge would not have been left to deteriorate. This is the old PNC-style of management - let every schit run down.

you know this is a private company own this bridge right

warrior posted:
Billy Ram Balgobin posted:

What is the government of Guyana doing? They have been there for three years and all what they are doing is keep blaming the PPP. Come on men! If the PPP was there that bridge would not have been left to deteriorate. This is the old PNC-style of management - let every schit run down.

you know this is a private company own this bridge right

Government has a share in it comrade. Government is supposed to inspect to make sure it is compliant with all safety standards .

Billy Ram Balgobin posted:
warrior posted:
Billy Ram Balgobin posted:

What is the government of Guyana doing? They have been there for three years and all what they are doing is keep blaming the PPP. Come on men! If the PPP was there that bridge would not have been left to deteriorate. This is the old PNC-style of management - let every schit run down.

you know this is a private company own this bridge right

Government has a share in it comrade. Government is supposed to inspect to make sure it is compliant with all safety standards .

And what else ?

Where is the revenue collected from Berbice bridge , is it a ploy from the current government to let PPP looks bad. 

At the end of the day, these bloody politicians don’t give a dame.. it’s not about the poor suffer nation  . How many of them or their family gets harass or strip naked on the pavement. 

I was told they usually drink Eldorado in the comfort of their home with good security watching the action on the street. 

A frind once told me, Guyanese should not chopped  each other , they should go in parlaiment and chop who deserve it ...they go to jail either way for the crime 

Demerara bridge had set back ...

1.a section floats way 

2. A section was submerge .

3. It was twisted from strong water current .

But kudos to Burnham .. he did some good thing for Guyana.

Billy Ram Balgobin posted:
warrior posted:
Billy Ram Balgobin posted:

What is the government of Guyana doing? They have been there for three years and all what they are doing is keep blaming the PPP. Come on men! If the PPP was there that bridge would not have been left to deteriorate. This is the old PNC-style of management - let every schit run down.

you know this is a private company own this bridge right

Government has a share in it comrade. Government is supposed to inspect to make sure it is compliant with all safety standards .

Govt is supposed to inspect indeed...what responsibilities do the private company have?

Bibi Haniffa posted:
Riff posted:

more like 40 years.....it was not built when PPP took over

Exactly my point.  But did the PPP allow it to go into disrepair just because it was built by the PNC?

who is responsible for repairing the Berbice Bridge? Is it the govt or the company which owns the bridge

warrior posted:
Billy Ram Balgobin posted:

What is the government of Guyana doing? They have been there for three years and all what they are doing is keep blaming the PPP. Come on men! If the PPP was there that bridge would not have been left to deteriorate. This is the old PNC-style of management - let every schit run down.

you know this is a private company own this bridge right

It was a Public Private Partnership from a financing standpoint but it's a national asset.  The Govt collects revenues and provides funding to investors and upkeep.  It's for the Govt to ensure proper maintenance.

Riff posted:
Bibi Haniffa posted:
Riff posted:

more like 40 years.....it was not built when PPP took over

Exactly my point.  But did the PPP allow it to go into disrepair just because it was built by the PNC?

who collecting the revenue?

Jagdeo and Bobby.

Bibi Haniffa posted:
Riff posted:

more like 40 years.....it was not built when PPP took over

Exactly my point.  But did the PPP allow it to go into disrepair just because it was built by the PNC?

The berbice river bridge was built with 90 percent of state money but complete control was handed over to Bobby and other friends of jagdeo's  They charged 11 us to cross and even placed a tariff on the river traffic. The Bay Bridge in MD is a suspension bridge about three times as long charge only 1.40 per commuter cars.    This is a classic case of PPP corruption

D2 posted:
Bibi Haniffa posted:
Riff posted:

more like 40 years.....it was not built when PPP took over

Exactly my point.  But did the PPP allow it to go into disrepair just because it was built by the PNC?

The berbice river bridge was built with 90 percent of state money but complete control was handed over to Bobby and other friends of jagdeo's  They charged 11 us to cross and even placed a tariff on the river traffic. The Bay Bridge in MD is a suspension bridge about three times as long charge only 1.40 per commuter cars.    This is a classic case of PPP corruption

D2, regardless, it's a national infrastructure and the GoG needs to take charge and take responsibility.  If the management company is not doing their job, fire them!

Forget what the PPP did or didn't do, they (Coalition) cannot just point fingers and not take responsibility!

And stop comparing, I agree it's too expensive, but that's not the issue here!

Baseman posted:
D2 posted:
Bibi Haniffa posted:
Riff posted:

more like 40 years.....it was not built when PPP took over

Exactly my point.  But did the PPP allow it to go into disrepair just because it was built by the PNC?

The berbice river bridge was built with 90 percent of state money but complete control was handed over to Bobby and other friends of jagdeo's  They charged 11 us to cross and even placed a tariff on the river traffic. The Bay Bridge in MD is a suspension bridge about three times as long charge only 1.40 per commuter cars.    This is a classic case of PPP corruption

D2, regardless, it's a national infrastructure and the GoG needs to take charge and take responsibility.  If the management company is not doing their job, fire them!

Forget what the PPP did or didn't do, they (Coalition) cannot just point fingers and not take responsibility!

And stop comparing, I agree it's too expensive, but that's not the issue here!

The GOG should take over the bridge from the company if the company is not competent of servicing the bridge.

Baseman posted:
D2 posted:
Bibi Haniffa posted:
Riff posted:

more like 40 years.....it was not built when PPP took over

Exactly my point.  But did the PPP allow it to go into disrepair just because it was built by the PNC?

The berbice river bridge was built with 90 percent of state money but complete control was handed over to Bobby and other friends of jagdeo's  They charged 11 us to cross and even placed a tariff on the river traffic. The Bay Bridge in MD is a suspension bridge about three times as long charge only 1.40 per commuter cars.    This is a classic case of PPP corruption

D2, regardless, it's a national infrastructure and the GoG needs to take charge and take responsibility.  If the management company is not doing their job, fire them!

Forget what the PPP did or didn't do, they (Coalition) cannot just point fingers and not take responsibility!

And stop comparing, I agree it's too expensive, but that's not the issue here!

It is a BOOT project. They supposedly own it and have total control initially for 20 years but I think the had that doubled. It is essentially private property. They reiterated that through the courts when asked to decrease the fees.

The government need to forget them and void the agreement not to build another bridge and build a suspension bridge where it should have been in the first place. At the first bend in the river where the roads always exist and a bridge would only have to span a distance less than a quarter of the present one. It would open up New Amsterdam and all the way to Mara. With another small bridge across the canje creek by Albion sugar Factory it would prove seminal to integrating and opening up canje region for development. 

Pointblank posted:
Bibi Haniffa posted:
Riff posted:

more like 40 years.....it was not built when PPP took over

Exactly my point.  But did the PPP allow it to go into disrepair just because it was built by the PNC?

Unlike the Berbice bridge the DHB is not a private company

Things seem so messed up all around. I always thought it was Gov’t with private investors, including NIS. 

How could you place a key infrastructure in private hands?  Then the govt should Nationalize and pay off investors.  I doubt they can just walk away. 

Baseman posted:
Pointblank posted:
Bibi Haniffa posted:
Riff posted:

more like 40 years.....it was not built when PPP took over

Exactly my point.  But did the PPP allow it to go into disrepair just because it was built by the PNC?

Unlike the Berbice bridge the DHB is not a private company

Things seem so messed up all around. I always thought it was Gov’t with private investors, including NIS. 

How could you place a key infrastructure in private hands?  Then the govt should Nationalize and pay off investors.  I doubt they can just walk away. 

Bharat Jagdeo plans for development,there are more the minority shareholders are the managers.

One poster pointed out BJ and his friend Bobby making the $$,nothing but the truth.Another poster says the "thieves" made their $$ by investment,yep they sure did, stealing from the country to fatten themselves.

Baseman posted:

It was a Public Private Partnership from a financing standpoint but it's a national asset.  The Govt collects revenues and provides funding to investors and upkeep.  It's for the Govt to ensure proper maintenance.

baseman, you could not possibly be this poorly informed!

or, perhaps . . . this is some PR [disinformation] service you are providing as cover for the jagdeoite thieves

no?

skeldon_man posted:

next thing that will be condemned will be the stadium. Anything the PPP built will be allowed to deteriorate. The Berbice Bride is an asset to all Berbicians. Keep it maintained.

once again, the Berbice Bridge is run by babby/jagdeo dem

dem supposed to collect fuh forty years i hear

dat not like Burnham Demerara bridge  which is owned and run by the people

your pathetic digression is noted

ronan posted:
skeldon_man posted:

next thing that will be condemned will be the stadium. Anything the PPP built will be allowed to deteriorate. The Berbice Bride is an asset to all Berbicians. Keep it maintained.

once again, the Berbice Bridge is run by babby/jagdeo dem

dem supposed to collect fuh forty years i hear

dat not like Burnham Demerara bridge  which is owned and run by the people

your pathetic digression is noted

OK PNC slop can dude.

Bibi Haniffa posted:
Riff posted:

more like 40 years.....it was not built when PPP took over

Exactly my point.  But did the PPP allow it to go into disrepair just because it was built by the PNC?

oh my god being a ppp racist make you sound stupid the pnc was the government the bridge is the government bridge so the ppp had to maintain it god have faith 

warrior posted:
Bibi Haniffa posted:
Riff posted:

more like 40 years.....it was not built when PPP took over

Exactly my point.  But did the PPP allow it to go into disrepair just because it was built by the PNC?

oh my god being a ppp racist make you sound stupid the pnc was the government the bridge is the government bridge so the ppp had to maintain it god have faith 

I am not God.  But okay. Fine.

skeldon_man posted:

next thing that will be condemned will be the stadium. Anything the PPP built will be allowed to deteriorate. The Berbice Bride is an asset to all Berbicians. Keep it maintained.

Ask yourself why they are not allowing the Marriott to go in disrepair.  In the future, PPP projects should all have an international franchise!!!  

Bibi Haniffa posted:
skeldon_man posted:

next thing that will be condemned will be the stadium. Anything the PPP built will be allowed to deteriorate. The Berbice Bride is an asset to all Berbicians. Keep it maintained.

Ask yourself why they are not allowing the Marriott to go in disrepair.  In the future, PPP projects should all have an international franchise!!!  

Just look at who the Berbice Bridge service, mostly Indo Guyanese, maybe  they are not a priority to this administration.

kp posted:
Bibi Haniffa posted:
skeldon_man posted:

next thing that will be condemned will be the stadium. Anything the PPP built will be allowed to deteriorate. The Berbice Bride is an asset to all Berbicians. Keep it maintained.

Ask yourself why they are not allowing the Marriott to go in disrepair.  In the future, PPP projects should all have an international franchise!!!  

Just look at who the Berbice Bridge service, mostly Indo Guyanese, maybe  they are not a priority to this administration.

Dig deeper.  Who live in Berbice?!

kp posted:
Bibi Haniffa posted:
skeldon_man posted:

next thing that will be condemned will be the stadium. Anything the PPP built will be allowed to deteriorate. The Berbice Bride is an asset to all Berbicians. Keep it maintained.

Ask yourself why they are not allowing the Marriott to go in disrepair.  In the future, PPP projects should all have an international franchise!!!  

Just look at who the Berbice Bridge service, mostly Indo Guyanese, maybe  they are not a priority to this administration.

some time my only reply to you guys is stupid stupid stupid 

Add Reply

Likes (0)
×
×
×
×
×