National Trust of Guyana

Denham Suspension Bridge

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Location: Garraway Stream, Essequibo 

Classification: Civil Infrastructure 

Period/ Year Built: 1933 

Historical Background / Description: 

Denham Suspension Bridge is located in the area known as Garraway Stream. The bridge spans the Potaro River, approximately 193 kilometres (120 miles) from the town of Bartica. The structure which is commonly referred to as the Garraway Stream Bridge and the Potaro Bridge, links Mahdia and Bartica by trail. It was declared opened to traffic on November 6, 1933, by Sir Edward Brandis Denham, K.C.M.G, K.B.E, Governor of British Guiana, whom it was named after. 

The need for this bridge goes hand in hand with Guyana’s gold industry. Gold, which was discovered in the then British colony, in the 1850s, brought numerous fortunes to British Guiana. It attracted men and, in some cases, women, from all walks of life, in the colony and the world for a dim chance of striking luck with gold. Prior to the bridge, Mahdia was only accessible by river. The 110 metres (360 feet) long structure was built by Scottish engineer and contractor Mr. John Aldi. It was funded from the pre-war Colonial Development Fund. Designed to support heavy vehicles, its main function is to safely transfer both humans and cargo from Bartica to Mahdia and vice versa. Due to the width of the bridge, it could only accommodate a single traffic lane. The Denham Suspension bridge is still in use.