Categorized | National News

Roberts Chides Gov’t Over Bridge

Former Progressive Liberal Party Chairman and Minister of Works Bradley Roberts has questioned the government’s proposed solution to the problems with Eleuthera’s “Glass Window Bridge”.


In a statement Mr. Roberts said the $40 million tagline to fully repair the impassable bridge is not cost effective.

“I understand that they have some ferry services. Obviously, the Ministry of Works has to take it very seriously and see what we can do about creating a safe passage for people in that community.” So said Works Minister Desmond Bannister to the media in response to media reports that extreme inclement weather conditions have negatively impacted mobility on the island of Eleuthera, its economy and the residents’ general way of life.


“This environmental, public infrastructure and socioeconomic nightmare gained national attention when video footage made the rounds on social media of water gushing across Queen’s Highway, eventually splitting the main Eleuthera artery in two at a location in an area popularly known as the sandpit.


“As an aside and as for the Glass Window Bridge, the government has expressed concerns about its state and a long-term solution that Minister Bannister says could cost tax payers as much as $40 million, some seven hundred percent more than the $6 to $7 million quoted by coastal engineers to construct a causeway on the calm side of the bridge when I served as works Minister between 2002 and 2007. Bannister said the solution was not in the government’s current budget.



“The only thing we can do is look at the bridge and see whether it is structurally sound and if it is then we will do whatever we can to make it passable. The reality is the long-term solution to building a new bridge which could cost $30 to $40 million. Here in the capital where debris was pushed into the road due to extreme weather, the public works minister says teams are cleaning up.”


“I am constrained to ask why the government would consider rebuilding the Glass Window Bridge when experts have advised the Bahamas government that its replacement cost is prohibitive and a causeway on the calm side of the bridge is more cost effective and would serve the same logistical and economic purposes for Eleuthera’s residents and its economy,” Mr. Roberts said.


He added that the name of the company and owner/operator of the sandpit dredging operations will be very helpful and in the public interest to know.


Additionally, he said the minister will do well to ascertain whether the owner/operator was in possession of the requisite and valid government issued permits for this type of operations


Early reports indicate that businesses are struggling in Eleuthera due to the bridge being inoperable.


Five people were severely injured just this past week trying to pass over the bridge.


Written by Amajahl Knowles

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