Works stalled on East Bank four-lane extension
- Presence of utility poles, pipelines cited
For weeks, construction works to expand the East Bank Demerara Public Road into a four-lane from the ‘high bridge’ at Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) to Diamond Housing Scheme entrance have been stalled.
The presence of utility poles and pipelines has caused the contractor, BK International, to halt operations after carrying out preparatory works to the eastern section of the thoroughfare.
The contractor during a telephone interview with this publication disclosed that major works under the US$3.4M contract are expected to recommence by December.
This has altered the completion date of the project, which was expected to conclude within 18 months. The contractor had signed the contract on October 3, 2011, but physical works under the project began in January this year.
Explaining the reason for the delay, Works Ministry Engineer, Ron Rahaman, said that initially when the consultants did the designs, provisions were made in the contract for the relocation of utilities, but while executing works, the cost estimated by consultants was less than that estimated by the utility companies.
He added that the Inter-American Development Bank was approached to provide additional funding, outside of the contract, for the relocation. So far, Guyana Power and Light Incorporated has commenced relocation of its poles and Guyana Water Incorporated is expected to begin shortly.
Providing an update on the overall project, which includes two other Lots, Rahaman noted that works are about 50 percent completed, but will not conclude within its 18-month duration.
He noted that Lot One of the project, which is being carried out by Dipcon Engineering Services, is about 20 percent completed. The contractor is currently excavating the ditch, sand-filling the area, installing wick drains and placing geotextile fabric.
Rahaman related that those are the only works the contractor could execute because of the presence of utilities in the stretch.
“Following the relocation of the utilities the contractor will commence additional works. At this point in time we do not want the contractor to go on the existing roadway because of traffic, we prefer him to work on the widening area before coming on the main carriageway,” he said.
Meanwhile, the relocation of utilities has not significantly affected works since the contractor, Gaico Construction in association with General Earth Movers of Trinidad and Tobago, was tasked with constructing a new roadway in the canefields.
“The contractor has sand-filled the entire section. He is doing some compaction now, and pretty soon he will be coming up with another layer, which is the loom layer, and the construction of three concrete bridges,” Rahaman disclosed.
He said that this section of work is about 30 percent completed.