$85M Beterverwagting, Chateau Margot bridges near completion
The ongoing works on two bridges costing $57.8 million at the Beterverwagting Railway Embankment and another at Chateau Margot costing $27.2 million, are moving apace.
Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill, MP, on Wednesday conducted site visits along the East Coast Demerara.
The minister noted that the bridges are part of a programme, which seeks to replace aqua-panel bridges with pre-cast, pre-stressed concrete structures, for strong and enduring infrastructure. This measure is as a result of deteriorating steel members which are affected by the rising sea level and salt air, due to the proximity to the Atlantic Ocean.
Works on the Beterverwagting bridge are being undertaken by C&L Contracting Services. The contractors are using reinforced concrete as the foundation, which will be capped with asphaltic concrete. Works commenced on March 23 and are expected to be completed before month- end.
The minister is pleading with citizens to be patient with the redirection of traffic while the works are ongoing. He said his ministry is collaborating with the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Guyana Police Force (GPF) to reduce traffic congestion during the morning rush hours.
“As Minister responsible for public works I want to apologise to all the citizens who would’ve been inconvenienced. We want to assure the residents we are doing everything within our power to finish this swiftly because we understand when you interrupt a bridge in a main thoroughfare you are really interfering with people’s lives.
“I have spoken to the Minister of Home Affairs and we have made arrangements as a traffic plan to take off the traffic that would normally traverse into the city or heading west in the mornings. They have implemented a three-lane on the four-lane highway heading west and one lane heading east in the morning, so as to compensate for the traffic that would’ve normally been on the railway embankment.”
Minister Edghill further noted that the contractors are being urged to expedite the works so that the interruptions can be short lived.
Additionally, the minister inspected the ongoing works on the Chateau Margot bridge, which is 70 percent complete. The work is being undertaken by Phanteon Construction and also commenced on March 23.
Currently the contractors are demolishing the bridge and preparing the embedment for the accepting of the pre-cast slabs. The pouring of concrete on the embedment will commence this weekend.
The ministry will be rehabilitating 13 more aqua panel bridges from Sheriff Street to Enmore.