The government chose to halve the workforce and double the life span of the EC$3 million (EC$1=US$0.37) replacement bridge at Colonarie.
Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, who said the bridge will be opened soon, told Parliament last week that his government had to chose between employing 30 people and a work crew of 15.
“But if we had employed 30 people, we would have had a project in the old fashioned way. You know, you do the boxing and you put the steel in it. So you [would have] had to have a lot of men to tie up the steel and so on. But that is what happened with the previous bridge, which was built by Ebenezer Joshua,” said Gonsalves, who is constituency representative for the area.
“But the bridge that we are building there now, because the slabs were put into heating chambers and made so strong and robust, the estimated lifespan is a hundred years,” Gonsalves further said.
“So I could have go[ne] and build one with 30 people which would last 50 years or 40 years, [or] build one with 15 and last a hundred years,” said Gonsalves, who is also Minister of Finance.
“There is nobody in Colonarie now, except for the child just born, and who would end up as a centenarian, [who] would have anything to do with repairing that bridge,” Gonsalves told Parliament.