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GINA, The Berbice Bridge Company Inc. (BBCI) said that the decision taken for vessels to pay to pass under was to protect the integrity and is an enforcement of existing laws.The company in a release said that their approach to vessels using the river is wholly governed by the government approved Bridge Regulations made under the ‘The Berbice River Bridge Act (Act No. 3 of 2006)’ as enacted on November 11, 2009 and its responsibility to ensure the complete safety of the travelling public, both on the river and on the bridge.The release explained that after the opening of the bridge in December 2008, most small vessels such as tugs or barges and some vessels with shaped hulls were allowed to transit under the high span whether north or south bound. However, large vessels were made to book to transit through the retractor opening whether north or south bound.There was a series of incidents that resulted in vessels colliding with the bridge causing damage, some of which were major, to the bridge sub and super structure…there were also incidents in which vessels encountered problems and drifted dangerously close to the Bridge, so that if they had collided with it, major damage would have resulted…as recently as last week,Cheap NFL Jerseys China, the M.V. Sandaka started drifting dangerously close to the bridge and the relevant authorities, had to be, and were written to about this matter”.BBCI also noted that some of the vessels using the river were unseaworthy with unlicensed pilots and sailors, as such, due to these incidents, the insurance cost to the bridge has increased significantly.“…with the advent of these regulations,Cheap Jerseys NFL China, in order to maximise safety for bridge traffic and river traffic, all vessels had to book to transit through the retractor opening”.BBCI said that there were two exceptions, first, the bauxite companies,Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping, which had spent millions of US dollars to modify their fleet of vessels so that they can pass under the High Span from the mines to the transshipment basin and vice versa and secondly, vessels carrying sugar. In view of the importance of sugar to the national economy, it was decided that unladen sugar vessels could pass under the high span when southbound, provided the mast(s) were below a certain height. They would however, have to pass through the retractor opening when laden and northbound; all vessels with their mast(s) above a certain height must pass through the retractor opening.“In the latter part of 2011 and during the first quarter of 2012 some sugar vessels developed mechanical problems…on one occasion the propeller of one of the vessels fell off…the construction of these vessels,Wholesale Jerseys China, namely those with shaped hull and single propeller propulsion, increase the risk of collision with the bridge when they are fully laden and could cause significant damage to the cluster piles,Wholesale China Jerseys Free Shpping, pontoons,Jerseys NFL Cheap, anchors, panels and transoms, thereby rendering the bridge unfit for its purpose”.“If BBCI allowed unrestricted access through the high span it would not be long before a serious incident occurred which could result in serious injuries to persons and in the prolonged close of the Bridge…BBCI which is owned by major financial institutions and other private sector entities in the country, takes its responsibilities very seriously…every major Bridge of this nature in the world has regulations defining the passage of vessels…it must be emphasised that safety cannot be compromised in anyway…every effort must be made to prevent loss of lives and injuries to those who use the bridge and damage to property”.
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