Location: Mackenzie-Wismar, Linden
Classification: Civil Infrastructure
Period/ Year Built: 1967
Historical Background / Description:
The Mackenzie-Wismar Bridge is the second of two bridges spanning the Demerara River, to be built by the Demerara Bauxite Company (DEMBA). The structure which connects Mackenzie and Wismar was constructed to facilitate the transportation of ore from mines located at Wismar and Christianburg to a processing plant in Mackenzie. Construction began in 1965 and was completed in 1967.
The bridge is 213 metres (700 feet) in length and 6 metres (21 feet) in width and was constructed from steel and timber. A portion of the first bridge to span the Demerara River, Hope Bridge, was integrated into the new structure. Hope Bridge was built in the Hope Mine area in 1939. Hope Mine was critical during World War II (1939-1945) because the majority of its bauxite ore was processed for the manufacturing of war machinery.
The Mackenzie-Wismar Bridge initially permitted both railroad cars (for the transportation of bauxite) and vehicular traffic. However, in 2006, railroad cars stopped utilizing the bridge. Today, the bridge is monitored by the Linmine Secretariat and vehicle operators are still allowed to use the structure, but are required to pay a toll; cyclists and pedestrians utilize the bridge freely.