Jan 28, 2022 News
– another $946M to keep existing structure floating
Kaieteur News – The Ministry of Public Works has been allocated, through Budget 2022, the sum of $21.1 billion for the construction of the New Demerara River Bridge, while an additional $946 million has been budgeted to facilitate rehabilitative work on the existing structure.
This is according to the Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh who made the announcement during his Budget presentation on Wednesday. Government has already awarded the contract for the four-lane, high-span fixed bridge to a Chinese contractor, China State Construction Engineering Corporation Ltd. The project is estimated to cost some US$257M.
The contract was confirmed on November 1, 2021, by way of a public statement, when the Ministry of Finance announced that Cabinet granted no-objection for the Ministry of Public Works (MoPW), to engage the contractor on the multimillion-dollar project.
The proposed location for the New Demerara River Bridge will see the structure being developed between Nandy Park, East Bank Demerara and La Grange on the Western end of the Demerara River. The project will be approached based on a Design-Build-Finance (DBF) model with financial terms and conditions “which would be no less favourable than those submitted in the preferred bidder’s price proposals.”
Efforts made by this publication yesterday to contact the two subject ministers on the project proved futile. China’s State Construction Engineering Corporation Ltd was sued for fraud in the Bahamas. The company had reportedly submitted ‘sham billings’ and diverted monies to other projects and was subsequently disbarred by the World Bank. According to the Ministry of Finance, the proposal by China State Construction Engineering Corporation Ltd, under the DBF model contemplates a construction cost of US$256.6 million, the lowest amongst all bidders.
It was noted that initially, the Government of Guyana, through the MoPW, pre-qualified nine firms to submit bids for the construction of a two-lane dual carriageway (4 lanes) hybrid Cable-Stayed centre span bridge, with Concrete Box/T Beam Girder approach bridge structure.
Features to be included on the new bridge would be collision protection, navigation span to accommodate Handymax vessel Navigation aids, Lighting, signage, and all other ancillary works, access road with a minimum of 50 meters up to abutments and a toll collection buildings and ancillary buildings on the West Bank of the Demerara River (WBD). The construction of the new bridge is expected to conclude within two years and will be built with the lifespan of 50 years. It will not require opening or retraction to allow for the passage of vessels, as is the arrangement with the existing structure.
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