Engineers and technicians from the Portuguesa Socialist Infrastructure and Services Company (Esinsep) are inspecting the damage caused by the collapse of the bridge over the Cajarito river, on the border of the Portuguesa state with Cojedes.
The structure, located in the Santa Cruz parish, Turén municipality, on the road that connects with the El Amparo parish in the Ricaurte municipality (Cojedes), could not support the overweight of two heavy-duty trucks that tried to pass simultaneously.
A commission from Esinsep, attached to the Portuguese Government, went to the site this Thursday to determine the damage and evaluate the mechanisms that could be implemented to solve the emergency, given that the inhabitants of various sectors of Santa Cruz were left incommunicado after the collapse of the bridge, without the possibility of going to El Amparo, a town where they carry out their commercial activities daily and also meet their health care needs.
In addition, the reactivation of the vehicular passage in the area is of vital importance, since part of the harvest of the Esteller-Turén-Santa Rosalía axis is mobilized there, the one with the greatest vocation for the production of food for mass consumption, such as corn and rice, and where the harvest of sesame, sunflower and beans, among other items, is currently in full swing, the fruit of the sowing of the north-summer cycle 2022-2023.
In 2022, 17 bridges collapsed in Portuguesa
The rains of 2022 impacted the road infrastructure in Portuguesa, causing the undermining and collapse of 17 bridges, due to the swelling of the rivers, and forcing the preventive closure of the vehicular passage in both urban and rural areas.
The governor of Portuguesa, Primitivo Cedeño, offered the report last November and almost immediately channeling and dredging works began to be carried out in some channels, to then be able to start the reconstruction and rehabilitation of bridges in municipalities such as Agua Blanca, Araure and Paez (Acarigua).
repairs in progress
Repairs are currently being carried out on two of the Portuguesa bridges impacted by the winter, highlighting the intervention on the one located on the Araure-Barquisimeto road pair, on the border with Lara, over the Quebrada de Armo.
The regional president reported that more than 1.000 cubic meters of cyclopean concrete are being used in the rehabilitation of this structure, whose bases were undermined by water due to heavy rains in October. The hydraulic protection works are in charge of the Government and began in December 2022 with the support of the state-owned Puentes Cagua.
Given its strategic importance for vehicular traffic between Lara and Portuguesa, the Quebrada de Armo bridge was the first to be serviced and the area's crossing remains partially closed in the Araure-Barquisimeto direction, just before the La Lucía tollbooth. The restriction will continue until the work is finished and the bridge is restored.
Last week the intervention of the El Guamo bridge began, in the Pimpinela parish, Páez municipality (Acarigua), with the loading and unloading of granular material for the support table of the hydraulic protection works.
Governor Primitivo Cedeño assured that the Piedritas Blancas and 4 de Mayo bridges and “all the bridges that were impacted by the rain in Portuguesa and that we will soon be able to put into operation” will be progressively addressed.