9 Real News Antigua) After calls from the United Progressive Party candidate, Kelvin
“Shugy” Simon, for work on the Cades Bay Bridge to be completed –
and following a vehicular accident there on Sunday, August 13 – the
Ministry of Works is now seeking to justify the present condition of
A video in circulation shows a vehicle at the bottom of the
excavation, next to the concrete base of the bridge. Up to now, it is
not known how many persons were in the vehicle.
Almost five months after remedial work on the bridge began (in
March) and about three years after the structure collapsed due to
flooding, the area remains incomplete and unsafe.
According to a statement from the Ministry of Works, it is aware of
the “vehicular accident which occurred at the construction site …
during a period of increased traffic through the area resulting from
the Urlings Seafood Festival,” and it was relieved to learn that no one
had been seriously hurt.
The Ministry claims it has been putting out its best efforts to prevent
accidents in the area by erecting barricades. However, it regrets
that these efforts have been severely hampered by the repeated
theft of barricades, cones and detour signage that were meant to
assist the driving public to navigate the construction area.
The agency says that police barricades were initially erected and
were proving quite effective. These were followed by detour signs
and cones – erected as work on the bridge progressed – but they
have been removed in repeated malicious acts of theft and
Reportedly, Minister of Works Maria Browne “made it her business
to ensure that even more effective signage, that [was] custom-made
and securely fastened to the ground using chains and blocks [was]
But, unfortunately, these were stolen; and the two additional cones
put on site following the string of thefts were also stolen.
Meanwhile, it was noted that two bridge walls were constructed on
July 28, resulting in the removal of the material that used to block
access to the site.
However, backfilling will commence, following the 21 days needed
for the curing of the concrete walls, the Ministry assures.
In the meantime, as a result of Sunday’s incident, “motorists are
being urged to proceed with caution in the area,” the statement says.
The Ministry says that additional work will continue later this week;
and, barring any further unforeseen incidents, the bridge should be
fully restored in an estimated nine weeks’ time.
Persons who are making it a practice to remove the caution signs
are being warned to stop doing so, since their actions could cause
harm to innocent drivers and is only slowing the pace of the repairs.
In response, some residents are asking why – with all these
incidents of theft – the public is being made aware and a warning
issued only now.