The US$46.8M West Demerara Road Expansion Project is currently 75 percent complete.
This was revealed last week during an engagement among the Region Three (Essequibo Islands/West Demerara)’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (R3CC&I); top officials from the police ‘D’ Division; and the contractors,
Surrey Paving and Aggregate Company (SPA) Limited (Jamaica) and its local partner, BK International.
The engagement was held at the Caricom Insurance Company building at Ruimzeight, West Coast Demerara.
It was during that engagement that discussions were held pertaining to the impact the project is having on businesses and residents within the region.
The chamber stated that it was brought to their attention that the contractors have not been executing their “Traffic Management Plan” as is stipulated in their contract, causing significant inconvenience to the Region.
Chamber President, Radesh Rameshwar, noted his concern over the “numerous complaints” his association would have received, about the loss of time and money.
He also expressed concern that the lack of some mechanisms may result in the loss of life or limb.
All parties have committed to work together to have better systems in place now that the project in approaching crunch-time.
The road expansion project, one Ministry of Public Infrastructure (MPI) spokesperson said, is moving apace despite the numerous challenges which include the lack of alternative routes and the recent inclement weather.
Representatives of the joint venture assured the parties in attendance, that the works will be completed before the January 2018 deadline.
Based on previous reports, Kaieteur News was able to track the progress of the work since it commenced in March 2015.
Nine months after commencement, works were 20 percent complete. However, there were some issues with regards to mobilisation and inclement weather.
By June 2016, works were 30 percent. At this point, the project was said to be behind schedule.
Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson, told media operatives at his Ministry’s end-of-year press conference, that as of September 2016, works were 40 percent complete.
In March, the project was announced as being 60 percent complete. One month later, the project stood at 65 percent complete.
Based on the statistics at hand, the contractors have almost eight months to complete the remaining 25 percent of the works.
An MPI official told Kaieteur News yesterday in that there were some “unforeseen” challenges with regards to the removal of utilities in one area.
He said that contractors would have encountered buried waterlines which had to be diverted, resulted in some delays. These structures were not listed on the schematic diagrams being used by the contractors, he said.
On November 22, 2014, Government formally signed the multimillion-dollar contract with several contractors being awarded contracts for specific aspects of the project.
Recent reports indicated that BK International was not qualified to carry out the works by itself thus; the joint venture enabled the company to take part in the project.
Together, both companies qualified for this specific component of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB)-funded Project which entails the improvement of approximately 30.7 km of the West Coast Demerara Road from Vreed-en-Hoop to Hydronie.
This aspect of the project includes pavement rehabilitation, road widening for the separation of pedestrians and cyclists from motorized traffic, installation of traffic signs and road markings, provision of additional highway lights, extension and repairs to culverts and relocation of the utilities.
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