Margibi County: Scores of residents from Lower and Upper Margibi County on Monday, December 6, 2021, turned out to witness the formal turning over of the newly reconstructed Du River Bailey Bridge in Harbel, outside Monrovia.
The ceremony also brought together other stakeholders, including authorities of the Ministry of Public Works, the Management and Staff of Firestone Liberia, Margibi County Legislative Caucus, traditional leaders, student groupings, amongst others.
Liberia’s Acting Public Works Minister, Ruth Coker-Collins who proxied for the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Nathaniel McGill, lauded President George Mannah Weah and the Management of Firestone Liberia for the prompt intervention which culminated in the reconstruction of the damaged Du River Bridge.
For his part, the General Manager of Firestone Liberia, Don Darden expressed satisfaction and said that the MOU signed by both parties [GOL and Firestone] on August 8, 2019, is a good example of government and private sector partnership aimed at benefiting Liberians and the country’s economy.
Also speaking, Assistant Public Works Minister for Supervision, Clarence Wilson put the aggregate cost of the project at US$1.5 Million which was funded through a 60-40 percent Cost-Sharing between the Government of Liberia and Firestone Liberia.
The new Du River Bailey Bridge has a two-lane carriageway of 24ft, a length of 160ft, and a lifespan of 80 years. It also contains a pedestrian walkway and links 15 Gate community to Firestone Plantation; thereby serving as a major passageway linking the Kakata-Gbarnga Highway and Cotton Tree – Buchanan Highway, respectively.
The bridge collapsed in 2017 as a consequence of heavily loaded trucks transporting materials for the Roberts International Airport Runway Project.
While the bridge remained in a dilapidating state, many residents including students of the state-run Fendall Campus and those seeking medical attention at Du-Side Hospital suffered excruciating hardship, as many resorted to commuting by canoes ride.
Meanwhile, the official dedication of the Du River Bailey Bridge is expected shortly, according to Minister Coker-Collins, who said that the President, being passionate about the completion of the project, has vowed to commission the facility himself. The project was implemented by a purely Liberian-owned company, Jupiter Construction.