The Ministry of Works and Transport is expected to begin repairs on a deteriorating bridge on O'Meara Road, Arima, after a long crack appeared across the middle of the bridge last week.
When Newsday visited the area, concrete barricades and large tyres were used at each end of the bridge to prevent cars from passing.
Newsday understands the bridge was blocked off on Saturday afternoon by officials from the ministry after an assessment of the site was done.
On Sunday, as Newsday visited the site, a team of police officers arrived having received reports that protesters had blocked the bridge. That report turned out to be false.
While many vehicles turned away to find alternative routes, there were a few cars that took the chance to cross the bridge by passing through a small opening on the side of the barriers.
One resident, Ganase Bissoon, told Newsday he recognised the crack last July.
“When I saw what was happening I was shocked because it seemed as though nothing was wrong with the bridge.
“I just hope they fix this quick, because this road is the main road so it will cause some inconvenience to people in the area.”
Another resident who owns a radiator shop just a stone's throw away from the bridge told Newsday residents were aware of the problem since 2018.
“Some men who used to go under the bridge to catch fish and caiman said the pillars holding the bridge were breaking. It wasn’t until this week motorist noticed the cracking.”
He believes the damage was done by large trucks.
“Regular cars couldn't do that, it’s those large trucks. Plus we need to remember the bridge had been there for a long time. I just hope they get the work done quickly so my customers from the highway won’t have to turn back and go around.”
A taxi driver also called on the government to have the repairs completed quickly. The man, who wanted to be called Charles, said the blocked road would affect all taxi drivers.
When contacted, Arima Mayor Cagney Casimire said it was the corporation that reported the cracks to the ministry. He hoped repair works would take up to three days to be completed. s
“They are working on preliminary plans for getting the bridge strong and passable right now. After we made a report to the ministry they came and, about a week and a half after, they decided urgent repairs on the bridge are needed.
“They haven’t told us the scope of the work but we know the bridge needs repairs and the issues are being addressed. Just recently they would have put a sign with a weight limit on the bridge; not more than three tons and that was the first sign that the bridge needed some reinforcement.”
Calls to Rohan Sinanan and D' Abadie/O'Meara MP Lisa Morris-Julian were unsuccessful.