Tue | Jan 19, 2021

Portland residents get swing bridge

Published:Saturday | November 9, 2019 | 12:18 AM

Residents of Ginger House and Cornwall Barracks in the Rio Grande Valley of East Portland are now breathing a sigh of relief, as a new swing bridge linking both communities was declared officially open on Wednesday by Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie.

The bridge was destroyed during torrential rainfall and flooding in the upper Rio Grande Valley in 2014, forcing residents to use unconventional means to get into their communities, which posed a serious threat to life and property, as the residents, including children and the elderly, were forced to walk through the rushing water of the Rio Grande, even at nights.

“Today, I am here to declare this swing bridge officially open. The actual work of the construction started in 2018. And not only was the construction of the bridge completed on time and within budget, but the work also provided opportunities for many people in the community, who gained employment during the period of the construction. This is a part of the Government’s promise to build and improve infrastructure across the country,” said McKenzie.

“This bridge falls under the direct control of the Portland Municipal Corporation. It is a part of the Government’s thrust, using local government to improve lives in the various communities across the country. Driving here, the condition of the road leaves a lot to be desired,,” said McKenzie, noting that he has already given specific instructions to the technical team in the Ministry of Local Government to see how best and quickly the road conditions at Ginger House can be improved.

“I am giving the assurance to the community that we will endeavour to at least make driving a little bit easier than it presently is on the road. I am happy that I am here to join in, not the opening, but it is a celebration. Through the Ministry of Local Government, we will do everything that is humanly possible to ensure that the conditions that you live in, you are able to access your living conditions in an easy way. I want to urge residents to take care of the bridge,” McKenzie concluded.