Works progressing on East Coast road widening project
DPI, GUYANA, Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Despite challenges, the East Coast Demerara Road Widening and Improvement Project is moving apace, with the Ministry of Public Infrastructure (MPI) remaining optimistic in meeting key milestones.
Speaking with the Department of Public Information (DPI), Nigel Erskine, Manager for Technical Services, said the mobilisation of plants, equipment, workmanship, and materials, is ongoing for execution of the 17km stretch of road from Better Hope to Belfield Village. Erskine said that vital pieces of equipment, a concrete batching plant and hot asphalt mixing plant are due to arrive in the country shortly from China.
Providing an update of the project, Erskine explained that the contractor, China Railway First Group Company Limited, commenced works on August 29, 2017.
“Physical quantities executed so far include 1.8km of sub-base, which are now under the placing of the lower base layers and completed an effective length of 1.0 km with bottom and top layers, just waiting for the final top layer of granular base for a thickness of 175mm,” Erskine explained.
Other works under preparation, to be concluded by end of October, include the digging of side drains and placement of retaining structures, Erskine added. The relocation of utilities by the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph (GTT) is expected to begin shortly.
Last November, the government and the People’s Republic of China inked a US$45.5M concessional loan for the completion of the widening and improvement of the road between Better Hope and Belfield on the East Coast of Demerara. Guyana has contributed $2.7B towards the project.
The estimated total cost of executed civil works has been adjusted according to the addition of the amount of US $3.2M per addendum and the total estimated value is now of US $50.20M.
Earlier, Chief Works Officer, Geoffrey Vaughn had reported a lengthy delay in a loan agreement which resulted in increased consultancy fees for the project. To date, the consultant has completed the design review and the report.
Some modifications have been proposed including the reworking of substandard side drains on both sides within the four-lane section and other modifications are likely to take place.
According to Erskine, maintenance of the existing four-lane facility has begun with the cleaning of canals and existing bridges and will extend to pothole repairs with asphalt mixture, sealing of cracks, cleaning and rehabilitation of signage and repainting of road lines.
By: Ranetta La Fleur