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Engineers' integrity questioned in bridge assessment

- Public Works Department assessment of Frenchman’s Cay Bridge finds sound structure - says Hon. Vanterpool
While Hon Andrew A. Fahie says the Frenchman's Cay bridge needs urgent attention PWD engineers have found it to only be affected by superficial flaking. Photo:Bareboatsbvi.com
Representative for the First District Honourable Andrew A. Fahie had cause to ponder the integrity of workers and engineers within the Public Works Department based on response to a question about the Frenchman's Cay bridge by Minister for Communications and Works Honourable Mark H. Vanterpool. Photo: VINO/File
Representative for the First District Honourable Andrew A. Fahie had cause to ponder the integrity of workers and engineers within the Public Works Department based on response to a question about the Frenchman's Cay bridge by Minister for Communications and Works Honourable Mark H. Vanterpool. Photo: VINO/File
Minister for Communications and Works Honourable Mark H. Vanterpool told the House of Assembly that he was prepared to accompany Hon Fahie to re-examine the state of the Frenchman’s Cay Bridge. Photo: VINO/File
Minister for Communications and Works Honourable Mark H. Vanterpool told the House of Assembly that he was prepared to accompany Hon Fahie to re-examine the state of the Frenchman’s Cay Bridge. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – A response to a question asked in the House of Assembly during its most recent sitting has left many, including Representative for the First District Honourable Andrew A. Fahie, to ponder the integrity of workers and engineers within the Public Works Department.

This was the feeling created when Minister for Communications and Works  Honourable Mark H. Vanterpool told the House of Assembly that he was prepared to accompany Hon. Fahie to re-examine the  state of the Frenchman’s Cay bridge.

Hon Fahie at the time was seeking information as to when the bridge, which he described as being in urgent need of repair, would be repaired.

In response, Hon Vanterpool told the Honourable House that the Public Works Department had conducted an assessment of the bridge and had found that it was only affected by superficial flaking. “….superficial flaking has been found on the structure, however they considered the structure to be sound,” said Hon Vanterpool.

However, he offered to accompany Hon Fahie along with other relevant persons to revisit the situation. “…. I will, Madam Speaker, based on the Member’s suggestion make a date myself with the engineers along with the Member to see what the situation is with that bridge,” said Hon. Vanterpool.

The response by Hon. Vanterpool sparked the curiosity of Hon. Fahie who asked, “Did Public Works go to the site with an engineer or did they go with the fellows who were organizing the bush cutting?”

Hon. Fahie said he found the question necessary as it would not have made sense that the Honourable Members of the House to go to the site. “…I did not get who went to the site …so that he and me going to the site doesn’t make no difference,” Hon Fahie remarked.

“Madam I am not being frivolous in my answer… I can’t speak intelligently about this, however they [PWD] have said it’s sound …” noted Hon Vanterpool. 

He continued, “It may come out that after we revisit that they are wrong and there is something that was missed. However, I don’t want to be frivolous about it...”

32 Responses to “Engineers' integrity questioned in bridge assessment”

  • Disgusted with them (30/12/2013, 07:46) Like (9) Dislike (2) Reply
    Questions should be raised on integrity of PWD PERIOD!!!!!!!!!!!!
    • Thanks (30/12/2013, 08:34) Like (8) Dislike (2) Reply
      I am glad that Hon. Fahie is pursuing the Minister Mark to get this bridge fixed because if it isn't we all will regret it.
  • Integrity my A$$ (30/12/2013, 07:50) Like (10) Dislike (3) Reply
    Talk, talk, talk.
    All ayo is just a waste of time and money (precisely why we going broke). Waste time talking a bunch a gabbbage in HOA and know for yourselves you all ain have integrity yourselves to deal with their integrity
  • leader (30/12/2013, 08:01) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    When God stretch down his hand on that place and give them a Leader, then we might get a taste of integrity. They don't need no more street-thug ratchet for a leader, they need a real genuine person with a soul. Far as I concern, I never see more idiots under one department in my life. When yuh go there, the lil ratchets dem all bout the place looking so unprofessional, they don't know their head from deh foot. Deh phones ain working since the prodigal son came home. What a mess in that place. That is one department very few people visit unless they have to. Last time I went up there, what a shame. CLOSE DOWN PUBLIC WORKS OR GET SOME LEADERS. Suggestion: bring in the English men. God bless the professional department I work in. Greatful everyday.
  • Well Sah (30/12/2013, 08:04) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    How long is it going to take for you people to figure out that place need an overhaul????? A THOROUGH CLEANSING????
  • People (30/12/2013, 08:29) Like (6) Dislike (3) Reply
    I find the NDP doesn't answer any question asked of them in HOA. That bridge is a serious matter & the Minister of Communications needs to stop playing games & politics with it & go fix the bridge.
  • You sure (30/12/2013, 08:55) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    People are we sure the Minister consulted PWD on this matter or did he just answer off the cuff? I firmly believe that it is the latter.
  • Frenchmans Cay resident (30/12/2013, 09:00) Like (8) Dislike (3) Reply
    I am a resident of Frenchman Cay & I am one of those who brought the deterioration of the bridge to the 1st district rep & I am glad & appreciative of his efforts to get the Minister to address the matter forthwith. The NDP better don't play around with this matter. It has been brought to their attention so now deal with it NOW! People's lives will depend on it.
  • Wait! (30/12/2013, 09:15) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    I agree with Fahie here but how all of a sudden they realize that PWD doesn't hold muster? This didn't happen 2yrs ago! The problem I have is when PWD does things in their favor, the VIP are hush, but otherwise they make a set of noise. This is what's killing our country, no principle across the board, that's shameful. PWD have been incompetent since god knows when. The one or two professionals they have are usually overridden by same people like Fahie and Mark in their selfish endeavors.
    • billyb (30/12/2013, 10:30) Like (10) Dislike (2) Reply
      We bawl and cry how we ain employing the locals. Look how deh local got Public Work, a set au damn fools from head to toe. The head man don't give a sh**, he getting his money.

      BRING IN DEH ENGLISH MAN DEM. I don't mine outsiders running my country, the only good job the locals doing is F&*%ing it up.
    • @Wait (30/12/2013, 13:25) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply

      Good try but get the facts. Within the last 6 month is when signs of issues pertaining to the structure of the bridge have become visible. The district rep is doing his job going to the Minister but the M...r needs to be truthful & admit that he didn't inform PWD. He just answer the question hog style because he doesn't care.

  • Yes (30/12/2013, 09:32) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    they need to get in a boat/dinghy to inspect the bridge>>not a car>>fools
  • fahie is right (30/12/2013, 09:54) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    That bridge is older than the north star.
  • C'Mon (30/12/2013, 10:00) Like (6) Dislike (10) Reply
    This bridge been in desperate repair for years now. How come only now it is being questioned; why was it not questioned or even repaired under the previous administration. No integrity whatsoever!!
  • @C'Mon (30/12/2013, 11:08) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
    The bridge was not visibly deteriorating until the last few months so the last administration cannot be blamed. The point now is that it has been reported to the relevant authorities so they need to address it meaningfully & stop giving ignorant answers in the HOA.
    • Scary Mary (30/12/2013, 13:17) Like (8) Dislike (3) Reply
      It is only now that private interests are trying to sell the property attached to the sand spit. THAT is why this has suddenly become an issue. The bridge has been in disrepair and in need of attention for years!

      I use that bridge at least 4 to 5 times a week and my children like to fish there. We have eyes too!
      • To Scary Mary (30/12/2013, 16:09) Like (5) Dislike (6) Reply
        You sound be locked up because if you were the only one who saw that the bridge needed repairing for years now & said nothing then you are worse than those you trying to condemn.
        • Scary Mary (30/12/2013, 17:15) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
          Firstly, I am not the only one who has seen that the bridge needs attention.

          Secondly, it is not my job to do bridge inspections. That is the job of a certified engineer and the fellows at PWD. But by all means, throw me in jail for having a pair of eyes to see. Get in a small boat and go under the bridge yourself someday and tell me what you see. Then go make your case to the minister. LOL!
          • PAM (31/12/2013, 12:24) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
            Scary Mary, the selling to private interests is the first thing I thought of too. The sand spit may become a marina and hotel for deep sea fishing business (which means dredging, pile-driving, land fill and loss of moorings) The mangroves around there are part of fisheries protected area (which usually means nothing). The fishermen have trashed out the place with rusting boat trailers, oil cans etc.
            I use the bridge many times a day. traffic goes 10-20 miles an hour over it because of the sharp blind corner. It is a short bridge. that said-- what is the big deal to go look at it again, Andrew? with or without the minister, find an engineer, get a report and bring it back to council and rub his nose in it. This may be a cover to build a larger wider bridge for more boats to go under. the whole place will soon be dredged dispite the fisheries protected area.
      • Very True (03/01/2014, 15:02) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        Scary Mary, you are soooo right! I believe the influential family of the VIP (M@lo*#) have interest in the Sandy Spit from the days of dredging sand and trying to sell to the mobile case maker owner. What "Otter" nonsense we have in this place; people need to speak the truth and stop sugar coating.
  • cay (30/12/2013, 11:17) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    What new here mark is a failure
  • What a set (30/12/2013, 11:17) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    It seems to me that the NDP feels that whatever problem the country had before they took office & now have since taking office should have been all solved by the last administration. That is what you call total foolishness. No where in the world is this possible. Even when the NDP leaves office there will be problems to solve.
  • Pure BULL (30/12/2013, 11:55) Like (9) Dislike (5) Reply
    So Fahie didn't know the bridge was in a bad state when he was in power for close to 20 years ??????????????

    Only since NDP in the bridge gone bad ??????????????

    Just PRETENDING like he working, that's all Fahie doing!
  • @pure bull (30/12/2013, 13:06) Like (4) Dislike (4) Reply
    You obviously talking pure bull. First Fahie hasn't been in politics as long as you trying to say. Next the bridge is only lately showing signs of wear & tear. If he did nothing you would be on his case but thank God he doesn't study fools & haters like you. Tell Mark to do his work & stop have dunce like you coming on here trying to put down Fahie while trying to justify the NDP's blatant disrespect to not do what is needed to be done rather than continuously wasting our tax dollars doing foolishness & blaming the VIP for everything. Ayo sickening now.
  • What a group (30/12/2013, 13:20) Like (6) Dislike (2) Reply
    At no time the NDP answers any questions asked of them. At no time do the NDP admit that they are wrong. At no time do the NDP admit that they have been caught lying. The NDP are a set of deceivers. I have lost all confidence in them. Bashing Fahie rather than dealing with the issue at hand with the bridge is an old tried & tired political strategy of the NDP group. I am so tired of this tatic. Just go fix the confounded bridge & shut the hell up.
  • shelia (30/12/2013, 14:10) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    what a relief. ..two years left
  • Music (30/12/2013, 15:00) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    I long for the PWD of the 1960s and1970s, when it was run by, yes, Englishmen . The dept did all the public and govt works without all this petty contract crap. I estimate some 40% of our male population reckon they are "contractors" and feed off all administrations for money and votes. Another sign of us going to the dogs. Probably the same 40% think they are taxi drivers too. Someone said that in the past ten years our income was something like $6billion, and what do we have to show for it?
  • billyb (30/12/2013, 19:35) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    Yuh want to know what we have to show for it? Ah set a teef, pocketing our money and expanding the fishbay dock. The BVI Government is not by the people for the people, it's a family affair. And once dem boy pocket full, who gives a sh****?
  • !!!!!! (31/12/2013, 00:04) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply

    M... and this PWD crew has very little significance unfortunately beyond that.....

  • NPolitico (31/12/2013, 09:05) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    This bridge is vital to safe and efficient traffic flow between Frenchman Cay and Tortola for motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists. It is the primary connection to the main land. Thus, it must be operated and maintained in a safe and functional mode.

    If the bridge is rated deficient and its condition not structurally sound, it should not be in operation. Did an engineer actually conduct a comprehensive engineering evaluation of the super and substructures and deemed this bridge structurally sound? Did the engineer certify the report? Is the engineer willing to put his or her professional competence and integrity on the line?

    This is not a game. There is no room for political expediency here. People's life are at risk. Consequently, let's do this right. If there are no certified structural engineers on island, procure one from overseas, especially one with bridge knowledge and experience. A visual inspection is insufficient to determine that a bridge is structurally sound. The bridge spans the sea and is aging so of course the surface will flake, oxidize and popout. We have an obligation to protect public health and safety. Let's not have a serious injury or a death on our conscience, especially when we had the means and opportunity to prevent the mishap. It would be a shame if a mishap occur due to gross negligence.
  • ground sea (31/12/2013, 10:05) Like (3) Dislike (7) Reply
    I have an idea let all them drugs pushers on the cay they who they build the bridge
  • Hush (31/12/2013, 11:46) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Groud sea, you sound like a real jack@ss!


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