New Bagotsville Main Access Road Bridge to be constructed
DPI, GUYANA, Thursday, August 3, 2017
The damaged Bagotsville Main Access Road bridge on the West Coast, Demerara (WCD) is to be replaced with a new steel reinforced concrete one.
Funding for the construction will cost the government $120M. The provision was cleared this evening by the National Assembly.
Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson explained that of the $120M, $113 will facilitate the reconstruction of the bridge.
The remaining $17M will provide for preparatory works, the Minister said.
He explained that these will include constructing a bypass timber road that will direct traffic to alternative routes, whilst the main access bridge is being constructed.
Also provided for is “fixing and patching” of the alternative route and relocation of utilities.
Minister Patterson told the House that the works are expected to take three months. He said that the Ministry has already preselected four qualified contractors for the execution of the works, but explained that no award has yet been made.
The contractors were selected from the Ministry’s prequalification list, based on meeting such criteria as their financial standing.
The main access bridge at Bagotsville became impassable to heavy traffic on June 22, due to two damaged supporting beams. Since then, only light vehicles were allowed to traverse the bridge. Heavy duty vehicles were diverted to the Canal Number One Polder and La Parfaite Harmonie, respectively.
Minister Patterson said when completed the new access bridge would allow for the return to normalcy, and a quality infrastructure.
Other monies approved for the Ministry of Public Infrastructure include $300M to facilitate the design, construction and supervision for 600metres and 200meters of sea defence along critical sections of the coastline at Rotterdam-Ruimzight, West Coast, Demerara and Cottage, Mahaicony. These works are intended to promote climate change resilience through the improvement of flood protection infrastructure along vulnerable low-lying coastal areas.
Minister Patterson explained, that currently, the mangrove at Rotterdam-Ruimzight has degraded and there is an imminent threat of a breach to the embankment. He revealed that the foreshore has reached unprecedented elevation resulting in intense hydraulic loading and substantial loss of mangrove forests.
The Minister explained that at Cottage, there is a total loss of the mangrove forest and there is overtopping resulting in saline water intruding into connecting canals affecting farmlands. Additionally, the Cottage sluice is subjected to erosion and under the threat of being undermined which would eventually compromise the integrity of the structure, the Minister said.
The monies approved for the Ministry of Public Infrastructure are part of a Supplementary Appropriation (Financial Paper No. 2 of 2017) of $2.514Billion being considered in the National Assembly to meet the additional expenditure of Guyana, for the fiscal period ending on December 31, 2017.
By: Macalia Santos