The construction of the $8.8M Staniard Creek Bridge has commenced, and is projected to be finished by December 2020. Works Minister the Honourable T. Desmond Bannister said the concrete bridge currently being used by residents is in “extremely poor condition” and has to be urgently replaced.
“The Staniard Creek Bridge is a three-span structure located just west of the settlement of Staniard Creek on the east coast of the island of Andros, approximately 10 miles north of Andros Town” Mr. Bannister noted. “The structure is a vital transportation link for the settlement as it is currently the only bridge crossing Staniard Creek, and therefore the only road access to the settlement.”
“The reinforced concrete bridge in Staniard Creek is in an extremely poor condition with the bridge deck, abutments and piers exhibiting extensive and very severe deterioration including erosion, voids and complete loss of concrete sections.”
Mr. Bannister said the deterioration has reduced the load-carrying capacity of the structure and consequently the bridge has a current load rating of only 5 tons.
He said, “Due to the critically severe condition of the structure it has been recommended that the bridge be replaced as a matter of urgency.” The existing bridge/causeway has an open span of only 60 feet. The existing channel is over 300 feet wide at this location and thus the bridge approach causeway has resulted in a considerable dam effect on the creek system causing increased sedimentation in the creeks, detriment to the health of the mangroves and decrease of the fish larvae export of the lagoon.
For this reason the new bridge is located at a more favorable location approximately 475 feet north of the existing bridge/causeway.
The construction works are summarized as follows:
- Construct a new bridge (180 foot clear span) spanning across entire water channel,
- a 200% increase in the open span;
- Construction of sheet piled abutments and wing wall;
- Relocation of existing utility services from the existing bridge to the new bridge;
- Removal the existing road causeway adjacent to the existing bridge;
- Dredging the creek channel to reinstate the flow;
- Construction of a new boat ramp and a new timber dock structure;
- Installation of several culverts across the section of the road causeway leading from the Queen’s Highway into the bridge access road. . A culvert is a structure that allows water to flow under a road, railroad, trail, or similar obstruction from one side to the other. Flow across the north and south sides of the lagoon is currently blocked.
The Ministry canvassed the Staniard Creek area and spoke to residents who expressed their appreciation for the new bridge. Susan Porters, Staniard Creek resident, expressed her satisfaction about the bridge
construction. “The government building this new bridge is awesome and it is looking good. When it’s completed it is going to give this area a good facelift. This bridge was needed bridge for so many years” she said. “ I pass this area daily and they are working really fast.
The progress is tremendous and I’m excited to see the final product. Most of the residents here in this settlement are waiting to see the finish product.”
Staniard Creek resident Kenrico Marshall said the new bridge will bring a facelift to the community. “I love it. the bridge we have and are using now is in critical condition and I’m just happy we have the new bridge coming. The workers are moving quite fine. I’m very excited to drive
He continued: “The community is happy the entire Andros is happy. Thank God for Minister Bannister. He’s a really great guy and he’s really looking out for Andros now. A lot of people has turned their backs to us but Mr. Bannister looking out for the people.” In November 2019, the contract was won and signed by Bahamas Marine Construction Company Limited for a total amount of $8,812,929.44.