Oct 27, 2020 News
Kaieteur News – According to the Minister of Public Works Juan Edghill, roughly 40 companies have submitted their Expression of Interests (EOIs) for their pre-qualifications to the government, as they look to secure the contract for the design and construction of the new, state-of-the-art Demerara Harbour Bridge.
The construction of the new bridge, a hallmark project in the People’s Progressive Party/ Civic’s (PPP/C) manifesto, is set to land in Nandy Park on the East Bank of Demerara from La Grange on the West Bank. This four-lane, high-span fixed bridge, which is commonly referred to as a “flyover bridge”, is set to be built with the lifespan of 50 years, and will not require opening or retraction to allow for maritime traffic.
In September, President Irfaan Ali; Minister Edghill, along with a team of engineers; inspected 4,000 feet of lands in the vicinity of Windsor Estates, where the bridge is set to land. According to the President, due to the location of the channel in the Demerara River, which is closer to the Eastern side with a five percent degree grade, an additional 4,000 feet is necessary to get a proper gradient exiting out of the bridge.
It was during his appearance on NCN’s Insight, where the Public Works Minister indicated that all of the applicants are international companies who hail from the United States of America (USA), France, Holland, China, as well as two of Guyana’s neighbours, Trinidad and Tobago and Brazil.
The Minister went on to further indicate that these companies have since registered, paid for the bidding documents, with many having already signed their non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), which gives them access to data to prepare their proposals.
“People around the world, because of our approach to development,” the Minister said, “have shown interest”, as he noted that the government looks to close the bids in early December.
“We anticipate that when we close those bids and there is an evaluation, we have a contractor engaged,” Edghill said, as he shared his anticipation for the bridge to be completed by 2024.
The Minister reminded of the importance of the new bridge by pointing out that it is an important link connecting new road networks. This, Edghill said, will pave the way for new housing, agriculture and manufacturing possibilities.
“By connecting to the new Demerara Bridge crossing, we are looking at a new alignment which is to build a new four lane road from Schoonard all the way out to Parika. So, the west coast corridor will have another four lanes of road,” he articulated.
Edghill continued, “With the lane from Schoonard, this would be opening up a whole lot of lands for housing development. Remember we have promised 50,000 house lots in five years and we intend to ensure that 25,000 houses are built.”
The government is yet to project on costs for the new bridge. However, President Ali had said during his visit to the site that this will be ascertained after the bids close in December.
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