MP Rickey Mackey stands with Minister of Public Works, Desmond Bannister, in December of 2018, surveying the deteriorated state then, of the Roderick Newton Higgs bridge, connecting Spanish Wells and Russell Island.

On Wednesday afternoon, May 6th, 2020, following the collapse of the Roderick Newton Higgs bridge, which connects the island communities of Spanish Wells and Russell Island, just off the tip of North Eleuthera, Member of Parliament (MP) Rickey Mackey, issued a statement, updating residents on actions being taken by the Bahamas government.  The statement reads as follows:

“(6 May, 2020)  Today the one lane Roderick Newton Higgs Bridge which connects Spanish Wells to Russell Island collapsed. We are thankful that there were no injuries and no lives were lost.

As with everything on the island the men of Spanish Wells all came to the rescue and the truck which has been partly submerged has been safely pulled from the water. I commend the men of Spanish Wells for the heroic efforts and unwavering support for each other.

The government of the Bahamas had a foresight that something of this magnitude could have happened due to the deterioration of the structure over the 28 years since it was installed under the first Ingraham administration in 1992 after the passage of Hurricane Andrew which completely destroyed the previous bridge.  That is why on July 22nd, 2019 the government of the Bahamas signed a contract with Waugh Construction (Bahamas) LTD for the construction of the new bridge to replace the structure that collapsed today. I am pleased to report that the pre-construction material for the new two lane bridge has been delivered and is ready for construction.

A barge is en route to the area which will facilitate vehicular traffic between Spanish Wells and Russell Island. We anticipate that all temporary measures should be in place to facilitate the daily routine between Spanish Wells and Russell Island by Friday. We also anticipate the commencement of work to correct the water main as early as tomorrow.

The Government and Waugh Construction (Bahamas) Ltd. will work feverishly to commence the reconstruction on this new bridge so as to keep the inconveniences at a minimum and totally facilitate the island as soon as possible.

In reference to the “red water” which can be seen gushing from the broken water main I have been advised that the new reverse osmosis plant to provide clean potable water to the people of North Eleuthera has been completed, however, it has yet to be brought online. I await an explanation from the Water & Sewage Corporation as to what is the hold up.”

Statement By Hon. Howard Rickey Mackey, M.P.
Member of Parliament for North Eleuthera Constituency

North Eleuthera’s Member of Parliament, Hon. Rickey Mackey, standing at the foot of the Roderick Newton Higgs bridge in December of 2018.