On the collapse of the Roderick Newton Higgs Bridge (Russell Island Bridge)

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Sen. Clay Sweeting

As we continue to navigate through the social and economic challenges of COVID-19, another unfortunate incident occurred today with the bridge connecting Spanish Wells and Russell Island collapsing this afternoon.

We must be thankful that no one was injured and all lives were spared. The bridge has been a matter of concern for some time and I must note that the contract to upgrade and replace the bridge was signed in July 2019. As far as I am aware the new bridge is still sitting in containers on Russell Island waiting to be installed.

One must also note that the water main that was attached to the bridge that serviced the community on Russell Island has also been destroyed. The residents are now without potable water.
It would also be remiss of me if I didn’t note the red water that is quite evident in the photo which poses another issue for the residents in North Eleuthera.

There is no way now for vehicular traffic to traverse from Spanish Wells, the commercial and business centre and Russell Island which is largely residential.

I would recommend that the Government works with haste to replace the bridge and ensure that the residents of this community once again have safe potable water.