An historic bridge in Marabella collapsed yesterday, days after residents of Bayshore pleaded for help to repair the derelict structure.
The bridge, which was over 100 years old, was used as part of the train line in Marabella. It collapsed in the river yesterday.
More than 12 families have now been left with no access in and out of their homes.
The community is also without a water supply because the pipeline was ruptured as the bridge fell.
Only last week residents expressed fear that the bridge would collapse and appealed to authorities to fix the steel and concrete structure.
The dilapidated bridge, accessible through Theresa Street Extension, was closed by the San Fernando City Corporation earlier this year. However, residents still risked their lives to cross the rickety bridge while others used a lonely, bushy track to access their homes.
One of the last people to cross the bridge before it collapsed shortly after noon was a 14-year-old girl.
“As she come inside we just heard a loud crash and everybody run out,” said her mother Makebe Wildman.
She said most of the bridge fell into the river. Wildman said her two children, ages five and 11, had crossed the bridge earlier in the day because their school had dismissed early.
“They had no choice but to use the bridge because there is nowhere else for them to pass,” Wildman said.
She also complained that the track, which runs alongside a drain, is overgrown with bush, muddy and lonely. Wildman also said residents in the “rich people” area were opposed to them using the track and attempts have been made to block the track.
“We already don’t have current, so we are in the dark, and now we have no water now. We have nowhere to pass and the longest while now we calling the MP and we not getting through,” she lamented.
Wildman said she may have no choice but to keep her children home from school today. The roadway is also caving and cracks have already reached a resident’s property. She had also appealed to the authorities to intervene before the situation worsens.
MAYOR SEEKING SOLUTION
San Fernando Mayor Junia Regrello said he was aware of the situation. He said two weeks ago the matter was raised in a council meeting. He said they sent correspondence to MP Faris Al-Rawi, who in turn forwarded it to Works Minister Rohan Sinanan.
“Tenders went out, proposals were done and we are awaiting feedback on when repairs will start,” said the mayor, who applauded Al-Rawi and Sinanan for their quick response in the matter. He said although the dilapidated bridge was closed several months ago it began to deteriorate at a fast rate following the bad weather. Regrello said a team will be visiting the site to assess the situation and look at what arrangements could be made for the residents.
Just two months ago San Fernando commemorated the 50th anniversary of the instalation of locomotive Engine No 11, which would have crossed that bridge, at Harris Promenade, San Fernando. Source: Trinidadian Guardian, Nov 3, 2017
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