Every so often there is an accident on the Flat Bridge in St Catherine, and this is usually followed by calls for the bridge to be fixed.
Those calls again resurfaced last week when a trailer overturned on the bridge, prompting the National Works Agency to notify the public that the Bog Walk Gorge, where the bridge is located, was temporarily closed. About six hours later the Gorge was made passable after the vehicle was removed.
But how much do you know about the Flat Bridge?
Here are some interesting BUZZ facts about the structure that is more than two centuries old.
- While there is no exact date of when the Flat Bridge was built, it is said that it was constructed after 1724.
- When it was being constructed, the sixteen plantations in the Bog Walk area were obliged to send one slave in every fifty to work on the River Road, sometimes called Sixteen Mile Walk.
- Slaves often lost their lives as they performed dangerous tasks in the Gorge.
- This bridge is flat and composed of planks on frame of timberwork which rests upon two piers and two buttresses projecting from the banks, constructed with piles and braces interlaced with masonry.
- Between 1881 and 1915, the floor of the bridge was washed away and later re-floored with iron girders and buckle plates taken from the original flooring of the May Pen bridge.
- The bridge of three spans is supported by two piers and two abutments.
- Flat Bridge is one of Jamaica’s oldest bridges
Source: Jamaica National Heritage Trust