Largest 4-lane bridge in Jamaica to be made over Rio Minho

Jamaica: The most magnificent four-lane bridge in Jamaica is to be constructed over the Rio Minho in Clarendon as a section of the Southern Coastal Highway Improvement Project (SCHIP).     

Speaking at a JIS ‘Think Tank’ on February 10, Managing Director of the National Road Operating and Constructing Company (NROCC), Ivan Anderson, revealed that the bridge would be much more comprehensive than the current bridge is a two-lane thoroughfare.    

He said that preparatory work for constructing the bridge, which involves piling (heavy stakes or posts installed to strengthen the foundation of a superstructure), is now underway at the site.

“The bridge sits on 30-foot long piles which are driven all the way down into bedrock under the ground. So, that’s the major activity taking place now we are drilling for the piles,” Anderson explained.

He continued that the steel cages are now sitting on the ground, “so once the drilling is completed, the steel cages will be inserted, and concrete will be poured.”

The managing director stated that the bridge would be very imposing at almost 150 meters (450 feet) wide. 

He pointed out that the Rio Minho has had important flood events over the years, so the bridge is designed for a hundred-year storm, meaning that the bridge should not be overtopped for a hundred-year event.

Anderson explained that the bridge’s design had taken previous experiences into consideration, such as in 1986 when the approaches to the existing bridge collapsed as the earth embankment on the western side was washed away.

“Taking that into account, we’ve reviewed the design, so our new bridge is now 150m wide, so it is much wider than the existing bridge and is capable of allowing flows from a storm with a return period of greater than a hundred years, so we don’t expect to have any similar issues again,” he said.

Anderson figured that the drainage in the area is expected to be significantly improved. 

Two additional bridges are being developed under the project, one of which will be done over the Milk River and the other across the St Anne’s Gully.

Thirteen other structures, including underpasses, field connectors, also an overpass, are being constructed.

The work is being performed on the May Pen to Williamsfield leg of Highway 2000, which is currently under construction.

NROCC is responsible for establishing, development, financing, operation, and maintenance of Jamaica’s tolled highways.

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