Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, on Thursday (June 18) commissioned into service a new bridge in Bowden Hill, St. Andrew, which will benefit hundreds of residents in the rural community and adjoining areas.
The new structure, built at a cost of $31 million, replaces a nearly 70-year-old bridge, which collapsed on February 18, 2019.
It connects Bowden Hill with Stony Hill and will also serve persons living in Airy Castle and surrounding communities.
The National Works Agency (NWA) and the Kingston and St. Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC) signed the contract for the project on June 6, 2019, which was undertaken by Chin’s Construction.
Prime Minister Holness, in his remarks at the commissioning, implored the residents to protect the new infrastructure.
“Take care of the bridge; make sure it lasts another 70 years,” he said.
Mayor of Kingston, Senator Councillor Delroy Williams, for his part, noted that putting a new structure in place after the collapse of the old bridge was a top priority.
“As the Mayor of the city, I could not sleep, because we were always very conscious that just a shower of rain or an overflow of the dam, would render the alternative route impassible,” he said.
“So, it was always resting on our minds and there was this eagerness to get the job done,” he added.
Member of Parliament for West Rural St. Andrew, where the community is located, Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn, said further development is taking place in the area, with a road being constructed near to the new bridge.
“I’m very happy today that this [commissioning] is now coming to pass… and we are very excited about continuing our work here in the Stony Hill division,” she said.
“Now, we leave you (members of the community) in charge to watch and make sure that nothing over the allowable weight crosses this bridge,” he said.