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New 78-foot bridge being constructed to span Buccament River

New 78-foot bridge being constructed to span Buccament River

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The spanning of the Buccament River with the Hope bridge took place last Monday, April 27.

A release from the Ministry of Transport and Works said the new bridge, which has a full-length span of 78.4 feet (23.9m), is a composite (steel “I” beam with concrete deck) structure.{{more}}

The new bridge is more than three times the length of the original bridge, which had a span of approximately 25 feet. A time consuming and meticulous exercise, last Monday’s spanning process took over nine hours to complete.

The steel beams, which now lie across the river, each comprise four I-Beams, each three feet deep and 78.4 feet long. Each beam was fabricated in four separate pieces for ease of transportation from the Dominican Republic. After arrival in St Vincent and the Grenadines, the beams were welded together on site.

During last Monday’s exercise, the beams were launched into position on rollers and temporary supports, from the southern abutment across to the northern abutment, pulled by equipment. The beams were lowered into position using heavy-duty jacks.

The work on the rehabilitation of the Hope Bridge is being implemented by the Ecuadorean Army Corps of Engineers.

The bridge is located across the Buccament River at the village of Hope in the Vermont Valley. The original two span, single lane concrete bridge was destroyed in the December 2013 floods, along with bridges in Top Sharpes, Chateaubelair and Kakarta.

The new bridges under construction at these locations are funded, designed and constructed by the Ecuadorian Government through its Army Corps of Engineers (EACE) at a cost of EC$11.3 million. The project commenced in October 2014 and is expected to be completed in June 2015.

According to a release from the Ministry of Transport and Works, now that the bridge has been positioned, the Ecuadorean Army Corps of Engineers will proceed to cast the concrete bridge deck. The deck will be 26.2 ft wide and provide for two lane traffic and a pedestrian sidewalk.

Ancillary works associated with this project include river widening, embankment protection, the creation of a small park on the northern embankment and some road upgrade works.

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