Daily Archives: January 12, 2015

The Bridges of St. Vincent: Unnecessary deaths and destruction likely to continue.

Christmas 2013: Body bags are the natural result of building on flood plains and failing to clear bridge obstructions.

Christmas 2013: Body bags are the natural result of building on flood plains and failing to clear bridge obstructions.

The future is as dark as the silt-laden waters

by Peter Binose

(Photo courtesy of I-Witness News)

The 3rd Duke of Bridgewater and perhaps even Isambard Kingdom Brunel would turn in their graves if they could see how the Unity Labour Party have neglected our little island’s waterways and bridges to the extent that bridges are destroyed on a regular basis.

It’s ever so simple to comprehend really – streams, rivers and tributaries have to be kept clear of obstructions and siltation on a very regular basis. If this procedure is neglected even for one season,  flooding will ensue which will cause river bank and bridge damage, if not total loss of bridges. Everyone with half a brain knows that, but obviously not the ULP leadership.

Over the last fourteen years just about every bridge on our tiny island of Saint Vincent has suffered serious damage. The rivers are allowed to collect tree trunks and roots and other debris and rubbish without regular round the year maintenance and clearance by teams of work men clearing and burning such vegetation waste. When it rains heavy this debris floats down river and blocks under bridges.

Of course the silt level under bridges is allowed to grow to such an extent that between the debris and the silt, an effective dam is created.

When the silt and debris effectively blocks the water flow under the bridge the water builds up to an enormous pressure that damages the bridge and attached road. The sudden release of a large volume of water rushes down river taking with it the next bridge, if there is one, where the bridge dam sequence and sudden release is repeated on a magnified basis, also taking river banks on its way. Eventually this torrent overflows into the ancient flood plains as has happened for hundreds of thousands of years.  Continue reading

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Filed under Building Collapse, Disaster, St. Vincent and the Grenadines