THE historic Natural Bridge in Riversdale, St Catherine, got a refresh on Monday, Labour Day.
Members of the St Catherine Municipal Corporation, Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), Red Cross, community members and other volunteer agencies, turned out to participate in clean-up activities which included extensive sweeping of litter and clearing the area of overgrown vegetation.
The bridge, which connects the community to the town centre, is a natural occurrence. It hangs some 60 feet above the chasm where there is a riverbed which is said to be a tributary of the Rio Cobre. Residents say the river returns in periods of heavy rainfall.
The landscape is characterised by limestone rocks, huge boulders and a network of miniature caves.
There are 125 steps from the entrance sign at the base of the bridge to the riverbed below, and these received a fresh coat of paint.
Deputy superintendent, Roads and Works Technical Team, St Catherine Municipal Corporation, Ramon Fisher told JIS News that the site was selected as this year’s parish project because of its unique structure and historical value.
“The parish project is the Natural Bridge, and we are doing a general clean-up of the area… This is a natural attraction, so persons could come and … look at it. We are trying to bring it back to that level where we can have persons…actually come and view the area,” he said.
Noting that the Natural Bridge has significant potential as a tourist attraction, he said cleaning up the area — which has been neglected for some time — will beautify the environs and attract interest.
Carl Mignott now oversees the one-acre family property through which the river runs, and the Natural Bridge can clearly be seen. The property was passed from his grandfather to his mother and is now in his care.
He expressed optimism at the assistance being given to rehabilitate the area and said, “It will boost me to go further.”