New bridge for Falmouth
The great dislocation caused by the closure of the Rock Bridge is not to last forever, as most locals thought when the Rock Main Road was ordered closed.
The 100 year old Rock Bridge was closed last month after inspection of the deteriorating bridge showed structural problems that were beyond repair.
The bridge crosses the mouth of the Martha Brae River and connects the community of Rock District to Falmouth. The Falmouth to Rock main road is also the route of the Duncans, Clark’s Town and Florence Hall/Stonebrook to Falmouth taxis.
Rock District Severely Affected
This closure dealt a devastating blow to the seaside town of Rock District, which has been slowly growing as a business area. The closure has made the commercial main road somewhat of a ghost town.
The citizens of Rock also do not have a taxi service going through the town anymore, leading to more discomforts for them. The taxis now have to take the Falmouth to Martha Brae Main road and exit Market Street, going west onto the Falmouth Bypass.
The town of Falmouth has seen more congestions as one of its entrances/exits has now been closed. A temporary road on the eastern end of the town now joins the pier area to the Martha Brae main road in the vicinity of the market. However, this road is hardly utilized.
No Date Given For Completion
The announcement of the reconstruction of the bridge is therefore a welcome one to citizens of the area.
However, it has been announced that the bridge is only under consideration and still in the planning stage. In terms of Jamaican construction time, that could mean several years to come.
From the Gleaner
The Rock Bridge in Falmouth, Trelawny, which was recently closed by the National Works Agency (NWA) because of significant structural defects, will be replaced.
Janel Rickets, community relations officer at the NWA’s Western Region, said that careful analysis had concluded that the bridge could not be fixed.
“We did some repairs to it some 10 years ago, but it is now beyond repair, so we are looking at constructing another bridge.”
Ricketts said that the plan for the construction of the replacement bridge is still at a preliminary stage, so she was not able to provide details on matters such as timeline and costing.
“We are not yet at a stage where we can provide any significant details about this new bridge, but it is something that is under consideration,” noted Ricketts. “I believe the new bridge will be constructed at the site of the old bridge, but at this time, I can’t say for sure, because … the planning is at a very early stage.”
Mayor Colin Gager says the closure of the bridge was unavoidable:
“I regret the sudden closure, but the condition of the bridge meant a decision had to be made,” said Gager. “A technical team from the NWA had a look at it, and they observed that the metal support under the bridge had deteriorated to a point where it could not be repaired. What they saw was danger staring them in the face.”