Oct 04, 2018 News
Government has carried out an audit of the Chinese contractors spearheading the East Coast Demerara road expansion and has issued them with a deadline to correct shortcomings.
The disclosure by the Ministry of Public Infrastructure (MPI) was made in a notice yesterday, published in the Kaieteur News.
In recent weeks, the project has come under fire especially for the traffic congestion and and dust pollution.
Truckers who were sub-contracted had also protested late payments.
It appears that the Ministry has been listening.
The advertisement explained that the project was being carried out by the China Railway First Group Company Limited for US$50.19.
The physical works on the project commenced on August 29, 2017 and the project is expected to be completed in September 2019 with the Defects Liability Period to last for one year.
According to the Ministry, the scope of works for the project includes the widening of the existing roadway between Better Hope to Annandale into four lanes and thereafter an upgrade of the existing two-lane road.
“Seven bridges and 12 culverts will be widened in the four-lane section and two bridges will be reconstructed. The project will also involve the installation of sidewalks, street lights, traffic signals, road safety signs and markings. The finished surface of the roadway will comprise of four inches of asphaltic concrete.”
According to the Ministry, a contract for supervision services was awarded to an international consultancy firm, Sheladia Associates Inc. in association with E&A Consultants for US$2,310,899.
“This consultant is the client’s representative and is responsible for the supervision of all works on site to ensure that there is compliance with quality standards, traffic management plan, environmental management plan and also to ensure that the project is completed on time and within the budget.”
The Ministry insisted that it is misleading to inform the general public that there is “no supervision” on the project primarily.
In fact, on a daily basis an average of 20 specialized technicians are on site to observe and monitor the works of the project.
“The technicians ensure that all quality standards, safety measures and environmental regulations are adhered to. The project is scheduled to be completed in September 2019, and the present progress of works is 35%. The Ministry is anticipating that all works for the four-lane section will be substantially completed by December 2018.”
With regards to the complaints of drivers and others, it was disclosed that the Ministry and consultants have engaged the contractor for the Traffic Management and Environmental Management Plan to be adhered to.
“…as a consequence, a safety and environment audit was done a few days ago where the pressing issues affecting the residents and commuters were logged and the contractor instructed to remedy them within a week.”
As it relates to the dust, the Ministry said that the issue has been remedied by the implementation of three water trucks wetting the road seven times per day.
“In addition, one of the interventions, which has been implemented is for more trained flagmen to be used to regulate the flow of traffic while materials are being offloaded on site. Thus, trucks will not offload materials during the peak period in the mornings and afternoons. The Ministry is not cognizant of the fact that drivers are waiting more than two hours in traffic. We are aware of commuters having to wait fifteen to twenty minutes the most.”
The Ministry warned that the speed limit in the construction zone is 20 km per hour, which should be understandable since major road works are being done.
“Therefore, in order to have commuters out of the construction zone as quickly as possible and to alleviate the buildup in traffic, the contractor has begun training more flagmen. The article also highlighted businesses are closed due to the rehabilitation works. It must be noted that the Ministry, CRFG and the engineers have ensured that all businesses within the construction zone have temporary access points to their businesses.”
The Ministry urged commuters to remain within the regulated 20km/h in the construction zone.
It assured that all measures are being put in place to avoid inconvenience to commuters and residents in the project area from Better Hope to Belfield.
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