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Rain destroys Orange Hill temporary bridge

Rain destroys Orange Hill temporary bridge

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Residents of Orange Hill and villages further north will have to wait another four to six weeks for the completion of the bridge, which would span the ten-foot wide Warabishi River.{{more}}

The delay comes after heavy rains and flash flooding caused a temporary by-pass road to be completely washed away – for the second time in two consecutive weeks.

The destruction of the road has not only caused a delay, but also prevented vehicular traffic from getting to and from Kingstown for hours on both occasions.

A makeshift bridge allowed persons on foot to get from one side of the river to the next.

The most recent destruction of the road, which had been constructed with base material (compacted gravel, sand and large stones over two concrete culverts), took place on Monday, October 6th, in the form of a flash flood which took employees of Dipcon Engineering, the firm contracted to build the bridge, by complete surprise.

The road first washed away on Wednesday, October 1st.

When Searchlight visited the area on Tuesday, October 7th, a new road was in place, and work was continuing on the bridge.

According to one worker who was at the site, the employees heard a loud rumbling coming from the up river at about 11 a.m., just minutes before the river came down.

“It sounded like thunder,” said the employee who did not wish to be identified, “…then the water come down and wash way the road.”

The downpour brought debris that had been trapped in the river over a period of time, and which finally gave way after the heavy rains.

Employees claim that the temporary road was gone in a matter of minutes.

Fortunately for the workers, no one was in the path of destruction, as they were waiting for the arrival of the concrete mixer.

As soon as the river receded, construction of a new diversion road began and was completed at about 8 o’clock the same night, October 1st.

Officials of the construction company are keeping their fingers crossed, and hope that there will be no more unforeseen interruptions.

The bridge, which began in May this year, is now expected to be completed by mid-November. (JJ)