Stakeholders agree on draft for bridge opening times

POSTED: 09/11/13 3:13 PM

St. Maarten – Last Wednesday the representatives of the St. Maarten Marine Trade Association (SMMTA), the St. Maarten Princess Juliana Airport, and the Simpson Bay Lagoon Authority Corporation (SLAC) met at the SLAC offices in Simpson Bay to further discuss a new “Time Manual” for the Simpson Bay bridge as well as the new causeway.

All parties involved in the discussions are major stakeholders in and around the Simpson Bay lagoon, and all endorsed the new proposed “Time Manual” for the bridges.

The “Time Manual” includes more frequent openings of the bridges, with the times in between openings synchronized and staggered to allow both marine and vehicular traffic to flow better.

The agreed upon “Time Manual” for the Simpson Bay bridges will be discussed with French counterparts, where after it will be submitted to the chief of police on the Dutch side. The Dutch authorities will then conduct further research with the traffic department to examine if the suggested “Time Manual” can be approved.

There will also be discussions between the contractor responsible for the construction of the bridge and the traffic department pertaining to digital road signage. This will give motorists information such as waiting times and/ or travel directions when bridges are opening.

As major stakeholders responsible for attracting and taking care of air, yachting, and cruise traffic through both countries’ ports, all stakeholders are elated to reach the ground breaking agreement which will enhance the flow of marine and vehicular traffic on the island.

A smoother flow of traffic will permit stakeholders to improve the accommodation of passengers as well as increase the amount of passengers the stakeholders currently service.

Furthermore, SLAC will be more involved in solving the issues at hand in and around the lagoon area.  SLAC will soon be functioning fully from their new office located on Simpson Bay road.

SLAC will have a clear strategy toward stakeholders, a better relationship with the Simpson Bay community and stakeholders such as the airport.  SLAC also has a clear strategic and environmental action plan based on the environmental impact study from Lievense and CH2M Hill’s action plan.


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