Bridgetown Port’s Main Gate demolished
The Bridgetown Port’s Main Gate was demolished yesterday to make way for a new modern gate facility. The Main Gate was officially commissioned at the opening of the Bridgetown Port May 1961, and yesterday morning’s activity represents the passing of an architectural baton from one era to another.
According to Captain Karl Branch, Divisional Manager Corporate Development and Strategy (BPI), the 56-year-old gate represented a piece of engineering mastery at the time. “The grand old Main Gate was the largest covered concrete free standing gate facility on the island. Its design was grand as it was to be the face of Barbados welcoming millions of visitors and it has served us well over the last half century.”
Branch said that the gate had to be replaced in the interest of safety and operational advancement. “An upgrade was necessary due to the increased volume of taxi and pedestrian traffic traversing the port. The old gate accommodated one main road for entry, one for exit and an emergency exit road. The new main gate, estimated to cost approximate BDS$1.1m will retain these roads, but will also have dedicated pedestrian and taxi lanes,” he said.
The new gate will be a two-story facility as opposed to the current one story and will be covered by a canopy that offers protection from the elements. This affords officers the ability to conduct their duties outside irrespective of the weather conditions.
The ground floor will offer an open foyer to facilitate direct interaction between the public and cruise passengers and port security, police and customs. The upper floor will contain operational sections for all agencies supported by technologies for information systems, communications, monitoring and surveillance of the environs and approaches to the gate.
ADC Building and Maintenance Ltd is carrying out the construction work which is expected to be completed in 18 weeks.
Public access to the terminal will now be via the Cargo Gate. The Cargo Gate is accessible from Harbour Road via the road leading to BICO Limited. It is expected that with the increased flow of passengers and visitors added to cargo traffic that there might be short delays at the gate. However, BPI has put measures in place to mitigate these delays. A map of the new traffic flow with directions for persons using the port will be available on BPI’s website.