Liberian Government, Firestone Liberia Dedicate Newly Reconstructed Du-River Bridge

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Harbel, Margibi County –  The Government of Liberia and Firestone Liberia Company have officially opened to the public the newly reconstructed Du-River Bridge located in Firestone, Margibi County. 

Speaking Monday, December 6, during the dedicatory ceremony, the Acting Minister of Public Works, Ruth Coker Collins expressed delight for the reconstruction of the Du-River Bridge, and the reconstruction project costs US$1.5 million, with Government providing a future tax relief to Firestone Liberia in the amount of 60% of said project cost.

“This bridge will bring a major relief to our people. I am so excited today. The overall cost of the project is about US$1.55 million and an addendum of US$245,000 to construct a 60-meter approach road from both end of the bridge,” she said.

Representing Firestone Liberia, General Manager, Don Darden, described the project as a milestone initiative for the company and country.

Mr. Darden added: “This is a big project also for our company. It will connect major parts of our concession area and we need it open. It will be used for the betterment of our employees and their dependents. I will like to thank the Government of Liberia, Jupiter Company and our parent Company-Bridgestone”.

Also in brief remark, the Margibi County Legislative Caucus Chairperson and Margibi-Electoral District One Lawmaker, Representative Tibelrosa Summoh Tarponweh lauded the Government and Firestone Liberia for the completion of the project. 

Representative Tarponweh has been the lead advocate for the reconstruction of the Du-River Bridge since it collapsed in 2017.

Highlighting some of the challenges commuters went through in plying that route during the damage of the bridge, the Margibi County lawmaker narrated: “When this bridge went down in 2017 during when we were not even in office, our people were inconvenient travelling back and forth.  We immediately intervened because we saw the need that our people were suffering. A canoe ward was organized to temporarily assist our people. Some people suggested that it was a bad idea because I was going to be held liable if anything bad happens. We also provided life jackets to help the process”.

He continued: “In 2018 as Representative, I started engaging Firestone and the Ministry of Public Works for the reconstruction of this bridge. So the struggle to reconstruct this bridge didn’t just start yesterday. There were people who were involved. In order for our people suffering to end, we push, we push and we push….. Thank goodness. Your suffering is over”.

In June 2017, the Du-River Bridge collapsed as a result of the weight of an excessively overloaded truck carrying crushed rocks for the Robert International Airport runway project and passing through the bridge.

The bridge connects Harbel to Firestone Medical Center in Du-Side. Movements along that route impeded since the collapse of the bridge. The newly reconstructed two lane bridge lifespan is over 80 years.  It is about 49 meter and carries about 100 tons of load.

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