The hydraulic crossings are aimed at preventing problems with the arrival of the rainy season in Cape Verde. The estimated value of the construction of the hydraulic crossings is approximately 20 million escudos, but according to the Boa Vista municipal chamber councilman responsible for the area of civil protection on the island, Idilton Brito, the government is waiting to receive a budget from the company that will build the crossings before confirming the total amount.
The information was confirmed by Minister of Infrastructures and the Maritime Economy Sara Lopes, who explained that “in addition to the fact that the bridge is still under construction, there are always funds available for keeping that crossing as an emergency alternative in case of rain. If there is a lot of rain and the Santinha and Spinguera gullies become impossible to cross, there will be two hydraulic crossings, which we are building, and this is the approximate cost, perhaps a little more.” Work is slated to begin on the hydraulic crossings this week and should be concluded within a month. The Ribeira d’Água bridge should be finished by the end of September.
In the meantime, the Boa Vista municipal chamber has its emergency plan for the rainy season ready, with the critical water crossing points all identified. Rain water runoff correction work is also under way. A drainage pump has been installed in the populous Boa Esperança neighborhood of Sal Rei, which habitually becomes flooded during the rainy season. “We’re prepared for the arrival of the first rains, considering the constraints the island faced in previous years. If it rains today, we’re ready for any eventuality,” he guaranteed.
Municipal authorities have also identified alternative methods – by sea – for supplying hotels and the airport and for passenger transport, in case of need. Indeed, with the collapse of the bridge in 2012 following strong rains and flash flooding, the only alternative roads were also often impassible, leaving the island virtually split in two.