Oct 06, 2015 News
…initial maintenance to cost $120,000 per kilometer-Willis
The Amaila Falls Hydroelectric Project is dead but the road will be completed and possibly extended another 12 kilometres to reach Kaieteur Falls.
This was revealed by Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson, who yesterday met with media operatives and provided an update.
According to Minister Patterson, Government is in receipt of a number of proposals for alternative uses for the road.
He said that one such proposal includes extending the road to Kaieteur Falls for use as part of a tourism drive.
He told media operatives, “I have received detailed proposals on uses of the road…from miners’ groups who have asked for extending the road to Kaieteur.”
Patterson said that the decision was taken to firstly have the proposals sent off to the Protected Areas Commission for vetting. This is to indicate whether the proposal is at all feasible to pursue.
“They have to say, because obviously Kaieteur (Falls) is a protected area so I haven’t even assessed the feasibility of that unless they say to me proceed,” said Minister Patterson.
He engaged the media with his Senior Engineer, Walter Willis, who told media operatives that the road initially has been budgeted to attract a maintenance sum of $120,000 per kilometer.
This figure, he said, will increase in the future as the road ages and deterioration sets in. This will be seen in conjunction with whatever decision is made on how it will be used.
“This will change with the usage of the road, as the road gets older we will require a little more money.”
It was pointed out that discussions are ongoing on the future use for the road, and while the matter of a toll fee has come up, no concrete decisions have been taken.
“That economic analysis has not been done as yet…The end use of the road will determine what level of tolls we will apply, if any,” according to Patterson.
He said too that there could possibly only be checkpoints along the road to ensure that undesirable vehicles are not allowed to traverse the road.
The Amaila Road, he stressed, is already in place and reiterated that money has been budgeted this year to complete the piece of infrastructure that was initially meant to provide access to the Amaila Falls for the now scrapped hydroelectric project.
According to Patterson, miners have also expressed a keen interest in the use of the road since it would provide access to new plots.
Costing in excess of US$30M and mired in controversy since its inception, the road has also been plagued by delays. A number of contracts had to be terminated and handed to other contractors, including China Railway, the Chinese company that had been engaged to build the hydroelectric plant.
The road constitutes, 85 kilometers of existing ones, and 110 kilometers of new ones and includes the construction of 15 bridges.
After firing the original contractor, Makeshwar ‘Fip’ Motilall’s Synergy Holdings, back in January 2012, Government divided the work into seven sections with the then Ministry of Public Works assuming responsibility for ‘Section Two.’ That section runs along the Mabura Road to the Essequibo River. Section Three was allocated to Toolsie Persaud Quarries Inc. and that section of the Amaila Falls road stretches from Butukari to the Kaburi Village bypass.
The same company was also awarded a contract for Section Four of the road for $246M from the Kaburi/Omai junction to the Issano bypass.
Ivor Allen was awarded the contract for Section Five of the road that runs from the Issano junction to Craig Road.
Section Six of the road was awarded to G. Bovell Construction Services but that contract had to be terminated.
It was subsequently granted in two lots, with the first from Issano Junction to Sorrow Hill being allocated to Ivor Allen and the second lot of Section Six awarded to Dwarka Nauth.
Hassan N Pasha General Building and Civil Contractor was handed the last and reportedly the most difficult section of the road, ‘Section Seven’ but it had to be terminated in April 2012 after only 15 per cent of the work was completed.
The contract was subsequently handed to China Railway First Group (Guyana) Inc.
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