Share this page on Facebook
'No bridge' is cry of Abaco majority, says Albury
  
Monday, 25 October 2010 13:52
Sir Jack Hayward, honorary chairman of the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) has over the years been a strong proponent for the bridge to be built.MARSH HARBOUR, Abaco -- Abaco Chamber of Commerce president Michael Albury says the idea of building a bridge linking that island to Grand Bahama would not be supported by most residents there.

Sir Jack Hayward, honorary chairman of the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) has over the years been a strong proponent for the bridge to be built - even coining the name "The Grabaco Bridge."  The bridge, he suggests, would make it easier to conduct commercial activities between the two islands. Residents of Abaco would have better access to the Freeport Container Port for their import/export needs, while those residing in Grand Bahama would be able to more readily purchase Abaco's agricultural goods and other products. It would also facilitate an increase in domestic travel.  Hayward has referred to the project as "the bridge of my dreams" and said he hopes to be able to cut the ribbon to officially open it before he dies.

The proposed bridge would run from McLean's Town to Crown Haven. It would reportedly take approximately 54 months to complete and cost an estimated $64 million to build, an amount which toll fees will be expected to recoup.  "It will enable us to drive to Abaco and spend a weekend in Marsh Harbour, and it will enable trucks full of vegetable and fruits to come here in a matter of hours into the Container Port," Sir Jack has said.

However, Albury said most residents of Abaco would be opposed to such a bridge.  "This is the consensus of (Chamber) members and non-members that I talked to over the years. When it's come up, the general consensus is that they don't feel that it will be beneficial overall for the island of Abaco," he said.  "The issue of independence has been one of the topics of conversation ... Freeport has some big businesses that might move this way. Actually it's quite a combination of things, not the least of which are environmental concerns."

Albury said he believes the least expensive way to join the two islands would be by filling in the land rather than building a bridge raised over the water, in which case the blocking or restricting of the water flow would be a problem.

Photo: Sir Jack Hayward, honorary chairman of the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) has over the years been a strong proponent for the bridge to be built.

Read more ...