Historical bridges of Santo Domingo will be fixed

SANTO DOMINGO. The Ministry of Public Works and Communications is getting ready to intervene in the maintenance of the three oldest bridges in the city of Santo Domingo.

Known popularly as the Duarte (Juan Pablo Duarte), the 17 (Francisco del Rosario Sanchez) and the Bicycle (Matias Ramon Mella), the three are in need of repairs.

If you add up the ages of the three, built during the regimes of Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina, and Joaquin Balaguer, these bridges have provided 138 years of service, and you have to see on how many occasions they have received maintenance.

Starting last night, Public Works started the maintenance on the Bicycle (1972), which received it's nickname because it is so narrow.

The inhabitants of the capital joked that it had been put up for use by bicycles. The work on the bridge will be finished on 30 May, according to the planning of the Ministry, and the closures are from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.

Public Works explained that the old asphalt will be removed due to its poor condition, and a new roadway will be laid down. Nevertheless, besides the asphalt, it is evident that the cyclone fencing also needs to be repaired.

At the beginning of this year, the Ministry of Public Works and Communications began the maintenance work on the Juan Pablo Duarte Bridge (1955), after it was learned last year that some of the suspension cables were cut in an attempt to steal them.

The Minister of Public Works, Gonzalo Castillo, promises that once the work was begun they would finish in six months. The project, for which they used the services of international technicians, has stopped traffic several time over the bridge that connects the 27 February Avenue in the National District, with the Las Americas Avenue in East Santo Domingo.

The total cost of the work on this bridge is estimated to be about US$4.0 million.

The bridge in the worst state of repairs is the "17" (1974). At the start of the month the government announced that it would hold a public tender for the "total repair" of the structure.

The structure also serves as a "roof" for hundreds of houses in the Gualey and Guandules barrios. Over recent years, the roof has deteriorated and bolts and pieces of metal and concrete are falling on the houses underneath it. Residents have complained several times.

For the repairs, the government is exploring the transfer of some forty families who will be moved by the on-going work.
20130528 http://www.diariolibre.com

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