Brent Miller uses bamboo to show the depth of the river from the bridge that fell into the river in Chin-Yuen Kee Trace, Point Fortin, yesterday.

Sascha Wilson

Despite COVID-19 restrictions, residents of Chin Yuen Kee Street, Cap-de-Ville, Point Fortin, who have been cut off due to a badly deteriorated bridge, protested yesterday for a new bridge.

More than 10 residents, with their placards, complained that the unstable structure is now impassible to vehicular traffic and anyone who crosses risks falling into the Cap-de-Ville river.

Complaining that 100 residents are affected, resident Vheydesh Motilal said the situation needed to be addressed urgently.

While the heavy rains caused the bridge to give way, he said the structure had been deteriorating for more than a year.

“As you can see the bridge basically, totally gone now, access is impassible,” Motilal said.

Apart from having no access, he says if the entire structure collapses into the river it will block the waterway.

“We need a proper structure put in place as soon as possible,” he pleaded.

Motilal said they made several complaints, but was told that the government funds were low and nothing was ever done.

“At the end of day, yes it is a multi-million project but at the end of it all this is an emergency situation. How are we getting back and forth? We supported you guys, ministers please assist us.”

Josephine Lowell said residents are in a frightening situation.

She said, “I cannot send children to the parlour because of the condition of the bridge. They can’t cross the bridge because it is dangerous. It is a hazard. If they fall they can drown.”

Councillor Shankar Teelucksingh said the corporation’s county supervisor, the road officer and the disaster management unit visited yesterday and they have made a request to Local Government Minister Kazim Hosein and the permanent secretary to access a bailey bridge.

Point Fortin MP Kennedy Richards Jnr said he contacted the minister who said that a team will be dispatched to assess the situation and then a decision will be taken to either repair the bridge or construct another one.

“I am not too certain how much it would cost but I know it is quite a big bridge and it would cost a substantial amount to get done.” While he has been trying to get the matter addressed for some time, he said the funds were not available to have the bridge repaired sooner.