Sea defence works at New Hope stalled
- unavailability of sheet piles in Guyana cited – Public Works
Physical works under the $310M contract to execute sea defence construction at New Hope, East Bank Demerara, have not commenced since the contract was awarded in May, 2011.
According to Chief River and Sea Defence Officer, Geoffrey Vaughn, the contractor, Samaroo Investment, is awaiting the arrival of sheet piles, the main material for the construction of the revetment, in Guyana.
It was noted that the contractor had sourced the material earlier into the contract but there was a shortage of sheet pile on the European market. Nonetheless, the sheet piles are expected in Guyana either this week or next week.
He stated that the contractor is not behind time as the contract has life and the work is one that can be executed within a short time frame. Vaughn recounted that the contractor wrote to the Ministry requesting an extension, which was subsequently granted. The new duration for the contract has not yet been set, since it will be gauged on the pace of works, Vaughn asserted.
He noted that to accommodate the construction works the Ministry constructed a $14M diversion road on the eastern section of the New Hope stretch.
The contractor, BJ Civil Works, constructed the road so that the structure is 12 feet wide and 330 metres in length with 1.5 inches of asphalted surface.
The design of the road includes 18 inches of white sand, 12 inches of sand clay, white sand and cement, four inches of crushed stone, and prime coat, tack coat, and then 1.5 inches of asphalt. Each stage of the works must be compacted.
He emphasized that it was necessary to construct a concrete structure instead of a timber bridge owing to the volume of traffic that traverse the East Bank Public Road. In addition, the Demerara River rests on the shoulder of the road as such the existing roadway would be occupied with machinery, materials and labourers during the sea defence construction.