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Scores of residents of La Ressource and Dierre Morne, along with Government officials including Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Economic Affairs, Planning and Social Security, Dr. Kenny Anthony and several members of Cabinet, cheered on Monday evening as Angel McFarlane, a five-year-old student at Plain View Combined, cut the ribbon to officially open the latest of 16 bridges rehabilitated by the Government of Saint Lucia over the past three years.
The Dierre Morne Bridge enables access to the La Tourney Cemetery. The bridge also restores the link between the communities of La Resource and Dierre Morne, which were severed as a result of the Christmas Eve Trough. One of the key features of the bridge is the inclusion of two pedestrian sidewalks. The bridge is a few hundred yards away from Plain View Combined, and several dozen students attended the opening ceremony. Dr. Anthony said:
“The most important people here this afternoon are the residents of this community, and the children who are here with us. The children who are here with us this evening influenced the design of this bridge; I constantly remind the Ministry of Infrastructure that our children and our citizens have to cross bridges, and they need sidewalks.
“For the children, the proximity of the school was a determining factor. I know they can go up and down to the school, whether in the morning or back home in the evening, and they can use one of the sidewalks on that bridge and hopefully get home safe and sound. So I am happy the children could join us for this occasion here this afternoon, because sometimes they may not even realise when we do something for their benefit.”
The original bridge in Dierre Morne suffered severe damage during the passage of the Christmas Eve Trough of 2013. Severe bank erosion led to the failure of the southern abutment and south eastern wing wall, rendering the bridge unsafe to vehicular traffic.
Delivered ahead of schedule by Integrated Development and Construction (IDC) Ltd at a cost of EC$1.3 million, the new 8.3-metre, two-lane bridge has sufficient hydraulic capacity to withstand a one-in-100 year rainfall event.
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