THE St. Lucia Government has responded to an urgent request from the Dominica administration via an international contractor for the loan of 1000 running feet of Bailey bridges for their sister island to restore communication between isolated areas reeling from the ravages of Hurricane Maria.
For those of us who are unfamiliar with Bailey bridges, this concept was designed by a British citizen named Donald Bailey during World War II to make good bridges destroyed by the enemy. A Bailey bridge comprises well-designed metal frames that are easily hinged to each other and supported by concrete columns at specified intervals.
This concept has been around for years and is presently fabricated under license in China. This concept, I have highlighted for years to various administrations, based on its low cost factor, practicality and speed in restoring areas affected by various disasters.
The SLP administration saw the merit and stockpiled a number of those structures some five years ago and to the best of my knowledge, St. Lucia loaned St. Vincent a couple of those bridges some two years ago when Hurricane Matthew visited their shores.
Photos attached to this article were taken on October 1, 2017 as the bridges were loaded onto a landing craft for Dominica. This gesture will go a very long way to our sister island as, within ten days, communication to some areas will be restored.
In addition to the gesture of the Bailey bridges, Government has supplied the petrol for the various flights provided by the Venezuela authorities in respect to the helicopter and C30 aircrafts, which was over EC$20,000 in value. There is no doubt that as St. Lucians we have taken this form of assistance very seriously based on the severity of the carnage in Dominica and the effects upon its citizens.
By Michael Chastanet