Fri | Oct 30, 2020

Danger looms at Easington Bridge

Published:Monday | August 20, 2018 | 12:00 AM


I was extremely saddened by the collapse of the Morandi Bridge in Genoa, Italy, last week, taking with it many lives, including a Jamaican's. There are valuable lessons that apply in St Thomas.

This is a parish that has many bridges because of the number of rivers. It is also arguable that it possesses the highest bridge in the island, the Ramble Bridge. However, it's the Easington Bridge that's of concern to me. It is in a deplorable condition.

Built more than 150 years ago, it once had boarded sections on either side of it for pedestrians. Sections of these boards are gone, forcing pedestrians to compete with motorists using the single lane on the bridge. The metal railing on the bridge has become loose in some sections, rendering it unsafe for persons to hold on to. The foundation of the bridge has been compromised because of a heightened increase in sand mining taking place in the riverbed.

My greatest fear is that bus or taxi using the Easington bridge might meet a similar fate as those people in Italy, or even a child becoming adventurous and deciding to walk on the boarded section of the bridge and fall through.

I am, therefore, calling on the National Works Agency to move with alacrity to give this bridge some attention. I urge Member of Parliament James Robertson to get into action and address what seems to be a disaster in waiting.