Nassau, The Bahamas – The new Little Abaco bridge will safely facilitate the flow of vehicles between Great and Little Abaco and create new habitats for marine life.
On a recent visit, the Hon. Alfred Sears Minister of Works and Utilities, and a team of engineers, viewed the bridge destroyed by Hurricane Dorian in 2019 and presently under construction.
“We went to the north of Abaco and visited the bridge which connects to Little Abaco,” said Minister Sears. “It’s good to see the ingenuity and competence of the contractor Stefan Knowles, a young engineer from a construction family. To see him and his brother Mark, and the excellent work being done on the bridge designed by Robert Mouzas, Deputy Director. To see the application, the assemblage and quality of the work by the contractor was very inspiring to me.
“It will not only provide a mode of transport for vehicles and pedestrians across the creek, but it also protects the environment because the creek will be able to breathe and flow beneath the bridge, as well as boats will be able to navigate under the bridge.”
Mr. Knowles, a Bahamian engineer of SJK Engineering and Construction Ltd., believes the bridge is much needed for Abaco.
“Abaco needs it. Abaco is a growing island and it has a very vibrant economy. Despite Dorian, it is coming back very quickly,” he said.“That’s one of the things that will create growth. People can get across from island to island very easily and make it accessible.
“The main function of the bridge is to open the waterway. Whenever the two islands got connected – 70-80 years ago, perhaps when they did the logging throughout The Bahamas of the Abaco pine, they probably filled in the creek so they could transport logs from one end to the next. This is going to be the first time in generations that the creek is going to be actually open for water to flow from the bank side to the ocean side.
“Blocking that creek back in the day obstructed the flow [of water] and obstructed the flow of marine life. The fish could not go from one end to the next. That is going to create a huge revamp of the eco-system with all the fish coming through – more birds, turtles and snakes.”
He describes the bridge as “very robust.”
“It is elevated 13 feet above high-water mark. You have to have at least a 13 feet surge above high-water mark in order for that to reach the bottom of the bridge.
“You would have to have another Dorian or worse in order for water to overtop the bridge.”
Mr. Knowles anticipates that the bridge will be completed in mid-February, 2022.