PHILIPSBURG:— Information circulating throughout the community of St. Maarten about the causeway sinking was diffused by Prime Minister Sarah Wescot Williams on Wednesday. SMN News reporter asked the Prime Minister if she had any information that the opening of the causeway has been delayed because the bridge is sinking due to technical errors committed by the contractors. Prime Minister Sarah Wescot Williams said she was informed that the grand opening which was scheduled to take place either on the 13th or 15th of December has been delayed for a few days but she was not informed that the causeway was sinking or had any other problems.
The Prime Minister and the Prefet of French St. Martin Philippe Chopin took a tour across the causeway Wednesday afternoon. Information provided to SMN News some days ago states that the contractors made some sort of mistake when pouring concrete under the bridge causing the bridge to begin sinking because there is no play at the joints. However, the persons who said this happened did not say how and where they got the information from because so far there is no known studies done on the causeway to determine if it is fact sinking. “One contractor said that he is not a politician and accidents do happen.”
SMN News tried to reach the CEO of the Harbor Group of Companies Mark Mingo since last week for clarification on this information but Mingo could not be reached by phone. An employee of the Harbor Group of Companies also diffused the rumor saying they have been hearing this too but based on what he knows the opening is still going ahead as planned.
A supporter and close ally to the United People’s Party Leader Theodore Heyliger told SMN News that the bridge itself is not sinking. He said that someone placed such a comment on Facebook claiming that the bridge sank by 6 meters already. “If the bridge was sinking it would have been visible. It seems to me that people don’t know how many feet is 6 meters.” The UP supporter and advisor said many persons did not like the idea of opening the bridge on Friday the 13th of December because there is always something about Friday 13th of any month. He further stated that there will be soft opening on Sunday and the causeway will then be open for public use thereon.
The UP advisor said that they (the contractors and government) know that the area that was filled in to build the round-a-bout at the foot of the bridge will sink in a few years because it could not be properly filled in now because of the excessive costs, therefore the roundabout will have to be upgraded in another few years.