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$30m Bridge Considered To Replace Glass Window

By RICARDO WELLS

Tribune Staff Reporter

rwells@tribunemedia.net

THE government is considering the construction of a new $30m bridge to replace the often-hampered Glass Window Bridge in North Eleuthera.

Works Minister Desmond Bannister yesterday suggested the move in an interview with reporters outside of Cabinet, contending the investment could finally alleviate the long-standing issues of residents on that island.

The Glass Window Bridge had to be closed on Sunday by authorities due to large and dangerous swells affecting the area. This curtailed travel between the north and south portions of the island.

On Monday, police said they were searching for a 19-year-old American man who was reportedly swept out to sea at Queen’s Bath, near the bridge. A day earlier, it was reported four people were injured before 3.30pm as they attempted to climb rocks on the side of the bridge.

Mr Bannister said engineers on the ground in Eleuthera have reported that those “shocking conditions” experienced over the weekend have resulted in extensive damage to the bridge and connecting roadways.

He told reporters: “In one place, just down from the bridge, they have an area where the water has cut through the road almost eight-feet deep.”

Mr Bannister continued: “So, we have some serious conditions that have been impacting the people in North Eleuthera that we have to look at very seriously and we are doing that right now.”

The Carmichael MP said the resulting impact has forced the government to move up plans to either repair or replace the bridge.

“As I indicated earlier, we have to look at a long-term solution. The Glass (Window) Bridge is not something that should be in our long-term plans.”

Mr Bannister said while officials are open to evaluating the bridge to determine its structural soundness, plans for a new bridge can no longer be delayed.

“We need to budget this year to construct a real bridge,” he said.

“But the reality is, the long-term solution is we are building a new bridge what could cost in the region of $30m to $40m.”

Last weekend’s severe weather and dangerous sea swells also affected sections of New Providence.

Residents in western New Providence on Monday faced surges along the island’s northern front.

Addressing that occurrence, Mr Bannister said officials also dispatched crews to those affected areas to coordinate clean-up efforts.

He said those efforts were expected to continue throughout the week.

Mr Bannister said officials at the Ministry of Works have recognised the increase in cases of severe storms and sea surges.

Referring to an Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) $35m loan which was approved last November, the Carmichael MP said the government now possesses the funding needed to replant mangroves along coastal areas across the country, as a means to offset all forms of surge.

Mr Bannister said: “We have serious erosion issues.”

He continued: “There is an IDB loan where we are going to be seeking to plant mangroves which is really, better sure protection than these walls we are putting up.

“We will be seeking to remove a lot of these Casuarina trees which cause the erosion to happen a lot quicker than they have happened.

“We are going to try to ensure that we protect our shorelines throughout the country.

“That is a critical issue for this country, replanting of the natural vegetation which protects the shorelines much better than sea walls.”

Comments

John 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Are persons aware of the second ‘sea storm’. That we may be feeling by weekend?

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realitycheck242 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Looks as if Two bridges will be needed with the second one being the area where the water has cut a eight feet cavern in the road north of the glass window bridge.No use filling it in and disturbing the natural flow of water because that area will always be a problem.as nature take is course.All reclaim wet land areas in the Bahamas should be restored to their natural state.

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John 6 months, 2 weeks ago

If the surge was high as 40 feet does it mean you need to build a bridge at least 45 feet high? This will be more dangerous because if the surges hit at that level... so the alternative will be to build a causeway on the sea side, which will also be costly. And so if not now, eventually it will have to become a toll bridge if onl for maintenance.

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realitycheck242 6 months, 2 weeks ago

a causeway with culverts for water drainage would surfice for the second area.

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sheeprunner12 6 months, 2 weeks ago

These Out Islands are expensive to a government that only concentrates on the 25 seats in Nassau ................. Just build a toll bridge and charge users $5.00 access. It will pay for itself just like PI Bridge.

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One 6 months, 2 weeks ago

It would be unreasonable to charge a toll. Considering $50/day is above minimum wage $10/day (round trip) in tolls for a daily commuter would be a significant burden. Family Islands need more power over there local economies. Each island needs a primary industry and not tourism as it creates a country of servants.

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John 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Actually one styled like a bridge above the high water level would be more practical with piling in the area of the old bridge to serve as a breakwater. This willl be tricky considering the force of the waters in that area (that cut an 8 foot deep trench through the road. But at least something that can stop the new bridge getting damaged.

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observer2 6 months, 2 weeks ago

by da time dis bridge finish it ga cost $100 million and da PLP ga be back in power...watch dis. Oban II here we come.

Let me guess, foreign loans from da World Bank, foreign workers/contractors from south america, inferior third world engineering, Bahamian lawyers, loads of politicians and zero transparency or accountability. Remember JFK drive dual carriage way? It started off at $20 million, 15 years later when it finish it was $100 million.

Ain nuttin change. We get swing again.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Ya gat dat right! Any project in which the IDB is involved has as its real motive only one thing: Pushing the Bahamas towards financial collapse and ruination.

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BahamaPundit 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Well said observer2. Well said.

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Islandboy242242 6 months, 2 weeks ago

  1. I think a causeway out into the calm side is a better idea than constantly battling the Atlantic Ocean. If you build a higher arch in the existing area, the supports will still be affected by ocean swells.

  2. I like hearing about the mangrove replanting but I hope good research is done as to where to plant them and also in protecting existing growths of natural mangroves. No sense planting a bunch of mangroves on a windward or ocean facing coast.

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bogart 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Instead of a 30m bridge that will always be prone to weather etc.......why not examine the seabed and if possible consider ARTIFICIAL REEF of offshore undersea structure to reduce waves. Dutch zeedrrxee brilliant at land recllaimation.....Chinrse just built island in cpntested sea.....Venetisns built dams to cpntrol high wave acton to slow sinking city......some places have created reefs to generate wave action to encoutage surfers etcetcetc......who knpws what the undersea bed looks like..??

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Islandboy242242 6 months, 2 weeks ago

The "shelf" cuts far into Eleuthera in the area of the Glass Window so there is very deep water only a few feet offshore. Therefore ocean energy travels closer to the land unhindered in this area. 900ft deep is a lot to build up a reef from :)

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Dawes 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Hope they make this one out of glass. I remember being very disappointed as a kid when i saw the bridge.

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sheeprunner12 6 months, 2 weeks ago

BOL ....... U misunderstood what the "glass" actually was ....... many did!!!

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bogart 6 months, 2 weeks ago

@Islandboy242242...thanks. I was there a couple of times. There is some type of reef 400ft?? further out running parallel which seems to affect these huge gusts to the 900 ft part next to yhe bridge. Anyway das fer der high pay consultants to figgure out.

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Islandboy242242 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Cool yea, just hope they do something with sense. Think that depth chart is in meters. Could always just setup a pier to fish from for Tuna/Wahoo while we're at it :)

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sheeprunner12 6 months, 2 weeks ago

That Glass Window Bridge site is a PERFECT place to set up a hydroelectric plant for Eleuthera .......... It may produce enough renewable energy to share with other islands .......... That is where this conversation needs to be heading ........ Building a mere bridge may be a waste of valuable public funds (that must be borrowed anyway).

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bogart 6 months, 2 weeks ago

......yess.,!!!...and there aree even diving championships bringing in international divers just like Deans Blue hole.....hotel ??.?wjhatever is done 30 million is a lot of money ...when travellers can already use a ferry service to bypass the bridge....now you hav a extra island ....Lutera north an Lutera south.....govt probalby dont hav da money to change the maps....so we hav to hav a new bridge...

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