The long awaited bridge, which was promised by the United States to replace the Kendall Bridge that was washed away five months ago by Tropical Storm Arthur, has arrived in Belize.
The bridge’s 35 modules, each ten feet long, will provide a span of 350 feet. The modules were received last Friday October 24, a day after two Nigerian tourists lost their lives while crossing the Sittee River in a dory.
The United States Southern Command donated the bridge from its army store and it has already been transported to the area where it is to be erected.
“We are pleased to be able to assist the people of Belize, particularly those in the Stann Creek District, during these difficult times of flooding and other uncertainties,” U.S. Ambassador Robert J Dieter said in a press release.
The bridge is valued at a million Belize dollars. It is a single-lane span that can be moved and set up in any other place in need of such bridge.
It is a structure that can be disassembled, transported, and re-erected at another location without much trouble.
C.E.O. in the Ministry of Works, Cadet Henderson, said that it will take a couple months to assemble the new bridge, weather permitting.
The United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) will be sending engineers to assist and train engineers from the Belize Ministry of Works and the Belize Defence Force in how to assemble the sections, while the Government of Belize prepares abutment and foundation work to support the superstructure.
C.E.O. Henderson has said the bridge will provide a safe level crossing above flood stage. The structure is Belize’s first modular reusable emergency bridge.
The loss of the Kendall Bridge has seriously disrupted the flow of road traffic between the deep south and the rest of the country.
The temporary causeway becomes inundated any time the river rises, and is not suitable for pedestrian crossing.http://www.reporter.bz/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=3142&Itemid=2