…says ECD arch pegged at $20M
COUNTRY Head of the Ansa McAl Group of Companies, Beverly Harper, has profusely apologised to motorists for the huge build-up of traffic on the East Coast Demerara highway on Thursday morning, saying that the company was rushing to install the Independence Arch in time for a major event this weekend.
During an interview with the Guyana Chronicle, Harper made it clear that it was never the intention of Ansa McAl to cause such a huge delay to motorists, many of whom took to social media to vent their frustration with the traffic congestion.
The Guyana Police Force had issued an advisory on Wednesday evening that the highway between UG Access Road and Ogle Access Road will be closed to vehicular traffic from Thursday to Friday between the hours of 8am -9pm, to facilitate the installation of the arch at the eastern entrance to Georgetown.
But the traffic did not flow as smoothly as the officials had hoped and instead, persons were stuck in the chaos for hours which resulted in students missing CXC examinations at the various schools, along with those attending the University of Guyana (UG). As such, the Ministry of Public Infrastructure intervened and halted the installation for the rest of Thursday; works resumed late last night with the hope of completing the installation.
According to Harper, the arch was scheduled to be installed since last week, but due to circumstances beyond the control of the company, it was delayed. Many persons questioned why the arch was not installed in the night, when there is less traffic, but according to Harper, given the height of the arch, the safety of the workers was taken into consideration. She also noted that the company had to source a 100-ft pole to accommodate the lighting for Thursday night’s installation.
Ansa McAl, Harper said, is aiming to commission the over $20M arch on Saturday, May 13, the same day that the company will be hosting the Anthony N Sabga Caribbean Awards for Excellence (ANSCAFE), billed for the Guyana Marriott Hotel.
Harper said this is the first time that the awards ceremony will be held in Guyana and the event is slated to have 45 participants from the Caribbean. The awards is now the English-speaking Caribbean’s leading recognition programme in the Arts, Sciences, and Public and Civic Work. The ANSA McAL Foundation launched this Awards Programme in October 2005. The Awards are made in four areas: Arts & Letters, Science & Technology, Public & Civic Contributions and Entrepreneurship.
This year’s awardees include: Winslow Craig, Dr Christopher Arif Bulkan – both from Guyana – Kwame Ryan from Trinidad and Tobago and Shadel Nyack Compton of Grenada.