Major road upgrade projects slated for this year -support for these projects by international partners lauded
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PUBLIC Works Minister Robeson Benn yesterday lauded the support of international partners such as the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB)and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) with respect to their past and continued funding for infrastructural projects successfully undertaken by his Ministry.

He noted that this support was highly valued.
During a performance review of 2014 of the Ministry of Public Works and projections for 2015 he said: “I must say that I have to make specific mention of the continued and valued support of our international partners in respect of funding for infrastructure projects.”

Public Works Minister Robeson Benn
Public Works Minister Robeson Benn

He added: ” That has been very important for the Ministry.”
Some of these infrastructure projects included the Ministry’s sea defence projects and several of its road upgrade and expansion projects.
Among the sea defence projects funded by international partners, he said, is a much needed sea defence resilience project which will be funded by the CDB.
He noted too that the Ministry was happy to have moved from project support to programme support with respect to the European Union (EU)funding for sea defence.
He said: “This says volumes for the work that we have been doing in improving sea and river defence protection.”
The Ministry, he said, continued to have the support of the EU in the city of Georgetown not only with the one-billion dollar clean up in Georgetown and all over Guyana but also in maintaining practically all the roads in Georgetown and in giving support in the event of flooding.
Coordinator of the Works Services Group (WSG), Mr Geoffrey Vaughn also identified the Sheriff Street- Mandela Avenue Roadway Enhancement project, the West Coast of Demerara and East Bank Berbice roads, the Canals # I and # 2 and the West Bank Demerara roads and the Grove East Bank Demerara road as some of the projects which are supported by international donors and which will commence later this year.
He said that the evaluation of the Sheriff Street -Mandela project had been completed in 2014 and will soon be submitted to the IDB for its no objection for the award of contracts.
He said: “This project is expected to commence in the third quarter of this year. So hopefully we have the no objection before January is over and we can award a contract for the execution of that project.”
The IDB supported project comprises a two lane upgrade up to the National Cultural Centre and a four-lane road from there to the junction by Banks DIH .
He said of this road: ”When completed we will have sidewalks and bicycle paths . There will be overhead walkways especially in the area near the school and where the senior citizens normally go to collect their pensions.”
These, he disclosed, are the new features that will be built into the road expansion projects that the Ministry is implementing.
Some of these features will also be part of the West Coast of Demerara road project.
The East Bank Berbice road is also targeted for foreign funding.
The Ministry had completed feasibility studies for phase two which stretches from Stanleytown to Everton.
He disclosed that there are other aspects to phase two of the East Bank Berbice (E.B.B) road including a stretch from New Amsterdam to Stanleytown, but the feasibility study for that is still ongoing.
He said that generally the Ministry is hoping very shortly to have the phase two of the E.B.B road tendered and awarded.

“Work on Phase one from Everton to Lightttown funded by the Government of Guyana is ongoing so we are expecting that as soon as the IDB gives its no objections to the Feasibility study we can actually go out to tender for the phase two.”
Feasibility studies are also on-going with respect to internationally funded road upgrades ` at Canals # I and # 2 and the West Bank Demerara ; the feasibility study for the East Bank Demerara (EBD) Road from Grove to Timehri is completed and the Ministry is awaiting the final submissions from the consultant .
Vaughn said: ”These are the projects that you will see completed in 2015 . There are quite a few foreign funded projects that we will have in 2015 which we will supervise and have oversight for.”

(By Clifford Stanley)

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