Deadline for Sheriff/Mandela Road project extended to February, 2022 – Min Edghill

─ says project substantially completed
─ delays due to COVID-19

The Sheriff/Mandela Road project has received a two-month extension, Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill said Tuesday.

The project, which was scheduled to be completed by December 31 this year, has been extended to February 14, 2022. 

Minister of Public Works Bishop Juan Edghill and Ministry of Public Works Project Manager Mark Greene making an assessment on a section of the Sheriff/Mandela Road project

Minister Edghill assessed the ongoing works on Tuesday, and reported that the project is substantially completed, with more than 95 per cent of the works done.

“We have agreed with Inter-American Development Bank which is financing this programme as a result of COVID related delays. All of the other works apart of the 600 metres which will be paved within the next 48 hours or so, that everything else, the installation of the lights, the signals, the guard rails and everything should and must be completed by February 14, 2022,” Minister Edghill stated.

Minister of Public Works Bishop Juan Edghill making an assessment on a section of the Sheriff/Mandela Road project

The installation of street lights and requisite markings have already commenced.

“What remains to be done are the 325 lights that you just saw the installation is ongoing. That will be moving apace in the next couple of weeks. We have the traffic signals; the poles are here and we are waiting on the arrival of the actual lights. There will be some fine works in terms of the guard rail. The poles for the vertical signs are here and we are waiting on the arrival of the signs.”

Street lights being installed on Sheriff Street

Regarding the road markings, Minister Edghill slammed persons who are ridiculing the incomplete work without understanding why the road is being marked the way it is.

He acknowledged there is need for an education campaign on the road markings, but said the project is located in an urban center where there are several turnoffs that give access to smaller streets. The minister pointed out that as part of the design, the markings on the road were put in place to ensure safety and ease congestion.

“Let me make it very clear in case people need to understand, looking nice is not our number one priority when we build roads, peoples’ safety is our number one priority. Traffic safety and the safety of citizens is our number one priority. So, even if people made a joke of the line is not straight and its curve off, I can take that criticism because it is intended to ensure safety and orderly movement of traffic” Minister Edghill stated.

A section of the road project completed with the requisite markings

Nevertheless, Minister Edghill noted that the delay in the completion of the project is beyond the control of the contractor and government.

“Getting ships out of China was one problem. The last problem we had is that when we did get the ship out of China and it reached Panama, it had a problem so they had to move containers from one ship to another to get it down here. That is arriving within a couple of weeks, so we will be able to get some of the other components.

Those delays were not manufactured, they are not things people are using as excuses, because in terms of management, we asked to see date of purchase, bill of laden to show things were actually shipped, but they did face the real delays.”

Additionally, Minister Edghill noted that since his last site visit on October 30, access to 84 entrances to smaller roads were completed, executed by Ministry of Public Works. Nonetheless, Minister Edghill said that for Christmas, Guyanese will have a road to facilitate quicker and easier access.