Bow­den Hill ex­hales

Ru­ral St An­drew com­mu­nity gets new bridge

The Star (Jamaica) - - Front Page - AKERA DAVIS STAR Writer

Lorna Scott and Mar­sha Den­nie are anx­ious to see their busi­ness re­bound­ing af­ter months of stag­na­tion. The women who op­er­ate shops in their Bow­den Hill com­mu­nity of west ru­ral St An­drew are among hun­dreds who were af­fected af­ter the Bow­den Hill Bridge col­lapsed last Fe­bru­ary.

On Thurs­day, they breathed a col­lec­tive sigh of re­lief af­ter a new bridge was com­mis­sioned into ser­vice by Prime Min­is­ter An­drew Hol­ness and Kingston’s Mayor Del­roy Williams. It was built at a cost of more than $31 mil­lion.

“Me feel ex­cited. A long time me a wait on this,” Scott told THE WEEK­END STAR on Thurs­day. “A true you nuh know how good me feel be­cause me cook­shop can start make back some money now. From the bridge bruk down it set me back. A whole heap a peo­ple couldn’t come in freely as they like to pur­chase food.”

The bridge leads to sev­eral com­mu­ni­ties in­clud­ing Airy Cas­tle and the Bow­den Hill dis­trict, which is home of the pop­u­lar Fall­ing Edge Wa­ter­falls and Bow­den Hill Pri­mary and In­fant School. Den­nie, a gro­cery shop op­er­a­tor, said her busi­ness was suf­fer­ing due to the col­lapse of the bridge. She is glad that a new one is now in place.

“Me feel grate­ful that the bridge a open be­cause things will be bet­ter for my busi­ness. A long time me nuh get no good sale,” Den­nie said.

AL­TER­NA­TIVE ROUTE

Fol­low­ing the col­lapse of the bridge, res­i­dents be­gan us­ing an al­ter­na­tive route, but that too was washed out by heavy rains.

“The al­ter­nate route that we had to use, the Her­mitage Dam, came down and wash it away and we had to take some­thing to­wards the bridge and walk across and get some­thing from there, so it’s just double fare. It used to drain me just to think about the jour­ney I had to walk,” Olivia Den­nie said.

Juliet Cuth­bert Flynn, mem­ber of par­lia­ment for West Ru­ral St An­drew, told THE WEEK­END STAR that she is ex­cited to see the re-open­ing of the bridge.

“It means a lot to me, es­pe­cially for the fact that they didn’t have a bridge for a while. Mean­ing, per­sons would have to cross over a river in some form of way. There is also a busi­ness place here, Strawn Cas­tle, that they have a num­ber of wed­dings on a weekly ba­sis, and they were re­ally strug­gling af­ter the bridge broke down. Other lo­cal busi­ness would have felt the im­pact also,” said Cuth­bert Flynn

Prime Min­is­ter An­drew Hol­ness said the re-open­ing of the bridge is part of restor­ing the econ­omy “be­cause when it went down, many busi­ness were also down.”

“It is up and we want peo­ple to go back now to have their wed­dings, and this is a place that peo­ple tra­verse to come and en­joy some of the beau­ti­ful na­ture. We want ac­tiv­ity to re­turn to this area,” Hol­ness said.

IAN ALLEN PHO­TOS

Lorna Scott Prime Min­is­ter An­drew Hol­ness waves to res­i­dents of Bow­den Hill shortly af­ter the open­ing of the Bow­den Hill Bridge on Thurs­day.

Mar­sha Den­nie

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