WSP Caribbean contracted for feasibility study of Corentyne River Bridge
Guyana and Suriname are set to benefit from major economic developments with the construction of the bridge across the Corentyne River which will connect the two countries.
Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill, M.P, joined his Surinamese counterpart Minister Riad Nurmohamed on Wednesday, for the signing of a US$ 2 million contract with WSP Caribbean.
The Trinidad-based consultancy firm, will conduct a seven-month study to determine the best design, build, finance and model for the bridge through a Public Private Partnership.
Minister Edghill said the bridge is one of the highest priority infrastructure projects to be accomplished by both countries’ presidents in their first term in office.
“This bridge is more than just an infrastructure project; it is a vision for the further development of two nations being realised. Development practitioners have agreed that bridges are key drivers of economic activity, ensuring the increased efficiency of trade, rapid exchange of ideas and quick access to services for those who need them most. Cooperation at this level means less delays, and more progress for both of our populations.
The Corentyne River bridge is both a physical connection between two landmasses, as well as a social connection between two peoples. When completed, it will forge stronger cultural bonds and encourage more knowledge sharing activities across our common border.”
The bridge will remove the constraints of current schedules and carrying capacity when travelling with the Canawaima Ferry to a five-hour drive from Georgetown to Paramaribo, resulting in increased efficiency and safety.
Apart from reduced travel time, the bridge will play an impacting role in development for both nations in various sectors.
A landing in Guyana or Suriname will afford tourists the opportunity to seamlessly travel the neighbouring borders, boosting tourism growth in both nations as the bridge will be strategically designed to pass through the untouched lands of Lange Island, in the Corentyne River with enormous potential for commercialisation and development of a free trade zone with hotels, resorts and all the forms of entertainment that will attract tourists.
Oil and Gas
The Corentyne Bridge will provide easy access to deep-water facilities in Guyana and Suriname, enabling easy movement of goods and services to support offshore activities.
With the new bridge and the opening of fertile agricultural lands, Guyana and Suriname will be positioned as major food suppliers to CARICOM, achieving the goal of reducing the food import bill by 25 per cent by 2025.
Additionally, Minister Edghill noted the bridge will aid in enhancing South American connections.
“The construction of the Corentyne Bridge will link Suriname and Guyana to Brazil as we have heard already moving from the North-East to the North West of Brazil and this will be done via other major river crossings such as the Berbice Bridge, the Wismar Bridge, the Takutu Bridge that joins Lethem and Brazil and provide access to a market in excess of 20 million people in just northern Brazil, as well as access to the rest of the vast south American continent.”
Minister Nurmohamed said as the Surinamese Government enters this new stage, the road from Paramaribo will be upgraded.
“We have decided that it should be upgraded so that we have a very good road for tourists so that we can boost the development especially in Nickerie and overall, in both countries,” he noted.
Meanwhile, Suriname’s Technical Assistant for capital infrastructure projects, Kees Boender said the bridge is expected to have a lifespan of 100 years and will require little maintenance.
The bridge which will link Moleson Creek in Guyana to South Drain through Lange Island can anticipate ships of 47,000 dead weight tonnes, a horizontal clearance of 100 metres and a vertical clearance of 43 metres.