Bridge Collapse Should be a Warning for Local Authorities

The news that a bridge collapsed in Genoa, Italy killing 39 people (so far) reminded the blogmaster of the uneasy feeling he experiences while crossing the Charles Duncan O”Neal Bridge in Bridgetown. Not so much the Chamberlin Bridge. On more than one occasion the gentle query was raised on BU (who wants to shout fire)- what is the protocol for inspecting bridges/structures in Barbados to assure public safety?

The recent revelation of two unmaintained tanks connected to the sewage plant have served to heighten the concern of the blogmaster. Successive governments have demonstrated an inability- is it aversion?- to manage a robust maintenance programme of government assets.

We should learn from the tragic event in Italy.


  • If that ice cream truck that keeps playing that continual loud awful music is the only casualty let it drop.


  • Surely there are structural engineers who can give us a professional opinion on the “safety” of the bridges in Bridgetown.


  • @Hants

    Of course we have engineers including our own Grenville Phillips II. The bigger issue is what are the protocols to proactively inspect structures to assure public safety?


  • You all taking SHIT. We all know MAINTENACE in Barbados is a forgien concept, build it, don’t maintain it, let it detoriate until un-useable and the wine about the consequences. South Coast Sewage system is an excellent example, there are numerous others that come to mind over the last 20 years.

    If Bajan physiology does not change then the country is doomed indefinitely to THIRD WORLD STATUS. All basic infrastructure is in a CRITICAL situation and GOB does not have this as a number one pririty. The graft and corruption are number one priorities, GOB has yet to realise that these will also disappear with Sovergien collapse.

    DAVID of BU, on numerous occassions has asked, how do we change the Bajan physi, big question no answers.


  • We know it will change when some thing catastrophic occurs? Perhaps not!


  • sirfuzzy (i was a sheep some years ago; not a sheep anymore)

    In the early 1960s, officials in England made a troubling discovery: London Bridge was falling down. The 1,000-foot span had stood for over 130 years and survived strafing during World War II’s London Blitz, but it was unequipped for modern traffic and was slowly sinking into the River Thames at a rate of one inch every eight years. Renovations were deemed impractical, so the City of London resolved to build a wider, more car-friendly replacement. The 19th century granite bridge seemed destined for the junkyard, but a city councilor named Ivan Luckin convinced his colleagues that it might be possible to sell it in the United States. In 1968, he crossed the pond to market the monument to prospective buyers.

    The the original London bridge is now part of the Arizona state landscape.

    We may not be so lucky the “CDO” bridge may just end up at the bottom of the Constitution River along with a few pedestrians bicyclist and motorist if we don’t maintain this three lane structure.

    Just my take.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @sirfuzzy (i was a sheep some years ago; not a sheep anymore)

    Brilliant idea of selling to USA, COULD BE the next BIG FORGIEN CURRENCY earner, less of course the usual 15% finders fee paid to local politician.

    Liked by 1 person

  • sirfuzzy (i was a sheep some years ago; not a sheep anymore)

    Wily Coyote August 16, 2018 1:32 PM

    After selling it we will have a wide gaping hole in Bridgetown. Maybe that can be promoted as a budding tourist attraction. Kerrie did say we need to add more attractions for visitors to the country.

    Lucky for us we do have a newish lift bridge designed for heavy traffic; or so we were told.

    We need to sell this idea to the powers that be surely we can split the “whatever fee/reward(it think its a independence honours pin or something like that) ; we can take turns wearing it?) Cause plebs like us dont get much for submitting good ideas to govt;
    A middle man with the usual 15% take gets it for for telling the Ministers it was his idea in the first place.

    Maybe its hunger talking aloud?

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ David,

    “Prime Minister Mottley said: “I want to thank those who occupy these premises, the place is in a wonderful shape; and in Barbados where maintenance has been an issue for so many public buildings, it is refreshing to see . . . .” She added that when the project was conceptualised, it was anchored with a maintenance programme and the benefits of such were evident.”

    “it was anchored with a maintenance programme “.

    Going forward we should alert the current of the need to inspect old bridges and repair or replace them.


  • sirfuzzy (i was a sheep some years ago; not a sheep anymore)

    How old is CDO bridge. when was it last inspected, what did the report conclude etc

    How old is bridge on Constitution road near Queens Park East Gate. when was it last inspected; what did the report conclude, etc

    Those are just two of the more traversed bridges in the city area. I bet there are more that we are not aware of etc.

    A freedom of information actis required, however these FOIA tend to have loop holes to stop information reaching John public.


  • Good to see you around Colonel Buggy!


  • Construction of the CDO bridge started in 1967. The bridge near Queens Park gate was built around 1965, I remember when many of the Road Rollers (rock engines ) operated by MTW were brought from all over the island to be used as ballast to test the bridge.
    As far back as 20 years ago I recall travelling on the CDO bridge at the same time as one of Mobil fuel tanker trucks and experiencing vibrations similar to those of the earth tremors of recent years.


  • You know the Bajan way. Invite disaster then have ‘a prayer walk’


  • Earthquake warning

    ” At least seven aftershocks have so far been recorded as Barbadians are being warned to brace themselves for more in the wake of the rattling of the island by a 6.9-magnitude earthquake Tuesday evening.”


  • @Hants

    Hopefully the authorities will inspect bridges, building and other public structures to assure public safety first thing in the morning.


  • Just saw it is raining in St.Lawrence and Accra beach ( web cams ) and ” A flood warning is currently in effect for

    Barbados, having been issued by The Barbados Meteorological Services at 3 p.m.”

    We will see if it affects Hastings / Graeme Hall sewerage problem.


  • Hants it will, the injection wells cannot handle the flow. The rain is beating down.


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