Following the torrential thunderstorm activity earlier this week that caused some of the worst flooding that Couva North has seen in several years, the absence of a wing wall coupled with the heavy flow of water beyond the capacity of the bridge caused the abutment/base of the Roopsingh Road Bridge to collapse yesterday (see attached pictures).
Last December, following the collapse of the old bridge, Couva North MP Ravi Ratiram and Councillor for the area, Dubraj Persad lobbied for the repair of the bridge and a temporary Bailey Bridge was sourced and installed at the site in January this year.
While this measure brought temporary relief to residents Roopsingh Road and environs, MP Ratiram called on then Minister of Rural Development and Local Government Kazim Hosein to work on a permanent solution. During the Standing Finance Committee discussions following the passage of the Budget for fiscal 2023, highlighting the temporary nature of the Bailey Bridge at Roopsingh Road, MP Ratiram asked the current Minister of Rural Development and Local Government, Faris Al Rawi if a permanent solution would be made available in this fiscal year, to which Minister Al Rawi simply stated “Yes”.
This morning, a team comprising of Drainage Engineers and workers from the Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo Regional Corporation (CTTRC) and the Ministry of Works and Transport – Drainage and Bridges Department were on site, clearing the fallen concrete and rubble to allow the free flow of water under the bridge. The CTTRC team informed the MP’s Office that they would continue to monitor the bridge over the weekend and thereafter until the necessary repairs begin. Meanwhile, both the Ministry and Corporation officials have advised that only vehicles under five tonnes (5T) should use the bridge and that all motorists exercise caution when crossing the bridge.
MP Ratiram says that Local Government Minister, Faris Al Rawi must now act post haste to make good on his promise to the people of Couva North to implement a permanent solution at the Roopsingh Road Bridge and to see the project through to completion with minimal delay.