Amaila Falls Access Road to be completed by March 31 deadline

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Minister Robeson Benn is flanked by senior officers of the Ministry of Public Works

The Ministry of Public Works has announced, through its technical advisor Mr Walter Willis, that the new deadline for completion of the Amaila Fall Access Road is May 31, 2014.Willis had announced that the road was 80% completed as at December 31, 2013, compared to being only 30% completed as at December 31, 2012.
There are seven sections of the road at which works are being executed simultaneously by several contractors, Public Works Minister Robeson Benn stated yesterday, when he called a press conference at which he and several sectoral heads updated the media on the progress of work for the year 2013.
Willis outlined the percentage of works completed on each section of the road. Section 2A is said to be 89 percent completed, while section 2B is 32 percent completed. Section 3 is 73 percent completed, while section 4 has thus far recorded a 99 percent completion; and this is followed by section 5 with 98 percent completion, and section 6 with 55 percent completion. And finally, the longest stretch of the road, section 7, is 74 percent completed.

Contractors working on the road include China Railway, Mekdeci Machinery and Construction, Toolsie Persaud Quarries Inc, Ivor Allenye and Dwarka Nauth.

Willis told the media that laterite remains to be placed on all sections of the road, which stretches a total of 120 kilometres, but this depends on weather conditions.

He also pointed out that there is a 2.5 kilometre section of the road which is regarded as the swamp section, since it is very low and close to the river. Nevertheless, that section is being worked upon to ensure the completion date is met.

In addition to the road, there are several crossings and bridges, including two greenheart bridges and a steel one, which have to be completed by the end of March in order that the entire road to the Amaila Falls can be considered 100 percent completed.

The steel bridge is part of a separate contract, and the design was only recently submitted and agreed upon. The next stage entails securing a contractor by way of tender.

It is also being considered whether a pontoon should be used for crossing rather than the bridge.

The entire Amaila Falls Access Road is being financed from the national treasury, the Public Works Minister disclosed.

(By Leroy Smith)