TRAFFIC congestion along the East Bank of Demerara (EBD) corridor should be reduced significantly by December, as six contracts were signed on Thursday for the construction of a $2.3 billion concrete, four-lane highway from Mandela Avenue, Georgetown to Eccles, EBD.
This project is divided into six lots: Lot one – Eccles, EBD, Lot two- Agricola, Lot three – Rome, Lot four – Houston South, Lot five – Houston North, and Lot six – South Ruimveldt.
The contracts for this phased project were distributed among six different contractors. The combined total of the winning bids to construct the four-lane highway is $2,356,914,515.
The contractors awarded are: Lot one – GuyAmerica Construction Inc. ($555M); Lot two – a joint venture among MTSUL Construcoes Limited, M&PA Investments Inc. and Consturora Cobra Eireli ($364M); Lot three – Puran Bros. Disposal Inc ($360M); Lot four – Joint Venture between Collin Talbot Contracting Services and Eron Lall Civil Engineering Works ($256M); Lot five – Aronco Services Inc. ($471M) and Lot six – JS Guyana Inc. ($352M).
According to the Ministry of Housing and Water, it is projected that these works will commence on April 14, 2021 and be finished by December 10, 2021. Road works have already started on the road link between Diamond and Eccles, in a bid to reduce the traffic congestion that is a daily feature of travelling along the East Bank Highway.
“When we are completed with the six contracts here today [Thursday], that is from Eccles to Mandela, you are complemented with the stretch from Great diamond to Eccles, we are speaking about 18,800 beneficiaries directly or housing schemes that are directly within our remit along that stretch,” Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal, said while providing brief remarks at the simple signing ceremony held in the ministry’s boardroom.
This Eccles to Mandela Avenue Highway comprises a four-lane road project with a dual carriageway of two lanes each. Importantly, this proposed roadway is a jointed reinforced concrete pavement.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA), Sherwyn Greaves, highlighted that this roadway is the first fully-concrete four-lane highway that will be done in the country.
Given that this project can become the benchmark for future construction, the CEO implored the contractors to work assiduously on the eight-month long project.
The six contractors who were awarded these contracts through the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board were drawn from Guyana, Trinidad and Brazil, after 27 bidders expressed an interest and subsequently submitted bids for this Eccles to Mandela Avenue Highway. The procurement process commenced on January 30, 2021 and the bids were closed on February 25, 2021.
NEW AREAS TO BE OPENED
Meanwhile, Minister Croal underscored that the construction of this highway shows growth within the ministry since this is a new area under its work programme.
“This is also part of what we’re doing… in creating networks and in developing housing schemes, you must have the access and that is the main access hence we are at this part,” he explained.
Through the efforts to enhance access to housing, Minister Croal said that the 18,800 beneficiaries along the East Bank of Demerara corridor would benefit from less traffic congestion.
Additionally, persons travelling from other parts of the EBD and from across the Demerara River in Region Three (Essequibo Islands West Demerara), would also have reduced travel time.
“And in all of that, it allows us to open new connecting areas,” Minister Croal underscored, adding that this will help to improve the lives of Guyanese. Similarly, Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Susan Rodrigues, noted that this new highway will have a significant, transformative impact on the lives of Guyanese. This, she emphasised, has been an underpinning aim in the government’s manifesto.
The scope of works under this highway project includes: land and drain clearing, construction of earthen and reinforced concrete drains, construction of culverts, a four-lane rigid pavement carriageway with two parking lanes, the installation of street lights and heavy duty composite bridges.