PHILIPSBURG–Technicians of construction company Hollandia Infra BV in the Netherlands are scheduled to arrive at the end of the week with additional parts and equipment to carry out repairs to the causeway bridge.
Currently the state-of-the-art turning centre section of the causeway bridge remains closed to maritime traffic until further notice, Simpson Bay Lagoon Authority (SLAC) said on Wednesday. The repair works are expected to take five days to complete.
The causeway bridge, which was opened to vehicular and maritime traffic in late 2013, utilises complex advanced technology when compared to the Simpson Bay bridge.
Based on a preliminary investigation regarding the source of the problem, continuous testing by the SLAC team, who have been working diligently, has determined that the hydraulic system fault sensors are the main cause for the bridge not being able to open.
If one or more sensors are non-functional, this places the bridge operations in default mode to protect it from damage.
Port St. Maarten Group (PSG) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Alexander Gumbs and Facilities Manager Benjamin Ortega toured the bridge with the SLAC team who have been trouble-shooting the issues.
Gumbs said the SLAC team had been able to solve some of the initial problems, but some sensors had malfunctioned, which prompted the Hollandia team to order new parts for installation.
Gumbs further said that he is impressed with the SLAC team in terms of having the knowledge and training to operate and manage the complexities of the bridge.
“Once the repairs are completed, we will invite the media to the impressive engine rooms under the bridge for a tour. One of the key items for us is being able to share more with the community in terms of information and our objectives,” PSG CEO Alexander Gumbs said on Wednesday.
The Simpson Bay bridge only has six sensors, versus the causeway bridge with hundreds.
SLAC carried out a survey of vessels and marinas located between Cupecoy and the causeway bridge and has not encountered any vessels that would need to transit via the causeway bridge. Officials have also been in communication with French counterparts regarding the Sandy Ground bridge.
SLAC will continue to keep maritime operators, boat owners, and the community updated as to the successful resolution of the technical challenges currently being experienced with the causeway bridge. It apologizes to the maritime community for any inconvenience caused as it continues to work assiduously to resolve the issues.
Bron: Daily Herald