Reopening of ferry service not an option – Patterson

first_imgVreed-en-Hoop/Stabroek crossingThe recent incident at the Demerara Harbour Bridge led to calls for the resurgence of a ferry service between Vreed-en-Hoop and Georgetown to cater for such emergencies.People waiting to cross the Demerara River on MondayHowever, Public Infrastructure Minister, David Patterson dismissed the suggestion, admitting that the stellings are in a deplorable condition for such a service.While addressing the incident which caused a complete shutdown of the DHB on Monday, Patterson said, “I know that persons have already asked but I would want to say that it is not possible for us to put a ferry vessel back in operation. People have been asking why not reactivate the Vreed-en-Hoop/Stabroek Ferry. The conditions of the stellings on both sides cannot accommodate a restarting of a ferry vessel. That’s not possible.”A barge and tug slammed into the southern side of the DHB on Monday morning, shifting the spans, which later resulted in a shutdown to both vehicular and marine traffic.Until Tuesday afternoon, chaos ensued at the Stabroek and Vreed-en-Hoop stellings after hundreds of persons were in lines to cross the Demerara River.Due to this situation, garbage collection also ceased since Puran Brothers Waste Disposal Services was unable to provide services to the city, since they are headquartered in the West Bank of Demerara.Patterson acknowledged that a backup mechanism is essential during these unfortunate events. But this venture would be costly, he claimed. While the stellings are up for rehabilitation, it was to improve facilities for the water taxi operation without consideration for increased vehicular traffic.“It would be quite an expensive endeavour. Obviously, what you want is some sort of redundancy. That is something that we would have to look at. I would have announced earlier that I have a waterfront development project on, which is upgrade of the Stabroek and Vreed-en-Hoop Stellings…but the idea behind that was to upgrade them for more and better water taxi services. At that time, we weren’t contemplating additional vehicular traffic,” he said.Emergency systems were put in place to fix the damaged sections of the bridge but it was hindered by unfavourable tidal conditions for a few hours. Engineers had also noticed that the structure was shifted from its aligned position between the two damaged spans.During the confusion, several passengers fainted after waiting for some time to board speedboats at the Stabroek Stelling, while some complained that the movement was stagnant and complained about the toxic air. One woman was even seen hyperventilating. Elderly and sickly persons suffered the same fate.last_img read more