During the abovementioned period Hofman Sliedrecht B.V. will repair the bottom side welds of the lift deck and will improve the lift deck driving mechanisms.
After sandblasting and cleaning of the bottom of the deck, any further deficiencies of the deck will be repaired. A new motor and speed controller will be installed to ensure that the bridge will be able to be operating at a higher wind speed limit as now is the case. A data monitoring and logger system will be put in place to keep track of the bridge's performance.
The works will further include extensive conservation of the bridge, such as the blasting and cleaning of all steel structures and the painting of the bridge with three or four layers of coatings selected specifically to provide protection against the corrosive marine environment of the bridge.
When the repair work is being done underneath the bridge deck no maritime traffic will be allowed to pass under the bridge deck as the passage will be blocked by a pontoon. All maritime traffic will have to make use of the passage under the bridge at the Coastguard/Police Station side of the channel.
The Simpson Bay Bridge will continue to open for maritime traffic on the regular opening times for the off-season being 09:30 - 11:30 and 17:30 hours up to and including Wednesday November 5, 2008.
From Thursday November 6, 2008 to Saturday November 8, 2008 the bridge will be closed for maritime traffic. The bridge will open for maritime traffic on the regular opening hours on Sunday November 9, 2008.
From Monday November 10, 2008 to Saturday November 15, 2008 the bridge will once more be closed for maritime traffic. On Sunday November 16, 2008 the bridge will open on the regular opening hours.
From Monday November 17, 2008 to Wednesday November 19, 2008 the bridge will again be closed for maritime traffic. After November 23, 2008 the bridge will continue to open daily on the regular opening hours.
During the abovementioned repair period the road traffic will be interrupted with short intervals when necessary to install the scaffolding or to deliver material to the worksite or to position the bucket truck. This work will be done early in the morning from 05:30 until 08:00 hours when the road traffic is the lightest of the day. During the repair period the main traffic lanes over the bridge will continue to be open for the road traffic.
According to work schedule the permanent repairs will be finalized Sunday November 23, 2008. Hofman Sliedrecht B.V. will work continuously during the nights and on Saturdays to shorten the repair period as much as possible.
The Simpson Bay Lagoon Authority Corporation will keep informing the maritime sector as well as the general public about the bridge opening times on a weekly basis or as soon as there is any change in the work schedule.
All facility holders, docks, piers and marinas will receive the information by fax or by e-mail or will be visited by employees of the SLAC.
The permanent repairs to the structure and the moving mechanisms of the bridge are imperative to ensure the continuous safety and security of the bridge operation.
Recommendations made by Rijkswaterstaat, (the Dutch Authority for Waterworks and Bridges) in their report of March 2007 will be executed to ensure the durability and longevity of the Simpson Bay Bridge.
During the last week of repairs Inspectors of Rijkswaterstaat will be present to inspect and make an assessment of the condition of the bridge structure and will once more put their findings in a report to the Simpson Bay Lagoon Authority.
The Simpson Bay Lagoon Authority advises the captains of all vessels to decide whether their vessel will stay in the lagoon or outside in the Simpson Bay during the repair time that the bridge cannot open. Please take good notice of the announced opening times of the bridge!
Those vessels that can transit the Sandy Ground Bridge will be able to continue to do so during the regular bridge opening times of the French side bridge.
For any further information please call the Simpson Bay Lagoon Authority's Collection Office at the Police Station in Simpson Bay next to the bridge at telephone numbers : 545 3183 or via the Police Station at telephone numbers: 545 5500/01/02/03/04/05 or call the Bridge Operator on VHF channel 12.