Beautiful Virgin Islands

Tuesday, Oct 04, 2022

Construction on new Frenchman’s Cay bridge to begin mid-February

Construction on new Frenchman’s Cay bridge to begin mid-February

The long-awaited construction of the new Frenchman’s Cay bridge is expected to commence on February 14 as Quality Constructions will take the lead on the project.
The project is expected to last four months, but the Ministry of Works is looking to have it completed before the proposed timeframe.

Quality Constructions owned by Roy Garroway was awarded the $315,753.04 contract by Cabinet back in December of last year.

Dwayne Frett, the project manager in the Ministry of Works, said the new bridge will be thicker and higher than the old one. At a public meeting, he said the existing bridge is 20 feet wide and the new bridge is expected to be 30 feet wide. He said the new bridge will have a total thickness of 16 inches.

“We will have wing walls on three sides of the bridge which will serve as retention structures. There will be a sidewalk on one side of the bridge and guard rails on both sides of the bridge. Once completed it will be a foot higher than the existing bridge. Boaters that traverse under the bridge will benefit from that,” Frett said.

To protect motorists, a run-on road that leads to the bridge on both ends which helps to opens a wider access point to the bridge will be created to give motorists a better view leading up to the bridge.

The Project Manager said one of the major concerns raised by stakeholders during previous meetings was access to Frenchman’s Cay. He noted that both residents and people conducting business will be able to access Frenchman’s Cay via a one-lane bypass road.

“What will be part of the project is a one-lane bypass road that will be constructed on the Eastern side of the bridge, and this will be done prior to the demolition work of the bridge. The total width of the lane is about 12 feet wide 90 to 100 feet long,” Frett said.

Meanwhile, Premier and First District Representative, which Frenchman Cay’s fall under, Andrew Fahie said this has been a long time coming and he is grateful to be able to deliver on his promise to the residents.

“We all know from down in this end that this bridge is a possibility that has been spoken about for many years, so we are glad we are on our way to getting it done. As I said in the annual report that we are having this meeting and moving forward with this and other areas,” Fahie said.

Back in 2019, the Premier noted a team from Puerto Rican company Jaca Sierra had visited the site to conduct a geotechnical study on the area.

The study was done to determine the amount of load or weight the ground can take before the designs were concluded. An Environmental Impact Assessment was also conducted on the area to determine the impact construction will have on the natural resources in the area.

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