–President Ali announces, says major infrastructure projects progressing smoothly
SUPPLEMENTING the plans to physically connect Guyana and Suriname by way of a bridge across the Corentyne River will be the construction of a four-lane highway from New Amsterdam to Skeldon in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne). According to President Dr. Irfaan Ali, a project-planning and pre-design analysis for an upgraded four-lane highway in Berbice is currently underway. “The objective of this project is the construction of an upgraded four-lane highway from New Amsterdam to Skeldon,” President Ali said during a virtual press conference on Monday. Infrastructure development is commonly at the heart of economic advancement, as it provides the conditions for catalytic investments and transformation on all levels.
And with Guyana being on the cusp of massive transformational development, significant investments have gone into enhancing the country’s infrastructural capacity, as a means of improving connectivity, and opening new opportunities for investment.
Dr. Ali, during the press conference on Monday, provided an update on a number of major projects being executed across the country.
He said that the government has already received Expressions of Interest (EoIs) for the construction of the Guyana-Suriname bridge link, and that construction of the Lethem to Linden Road has commenced with tendering for the Linden to Mabura section of the structure. “To ensure we develop enough capacity to service the oil-and-gas sector, the Government of Guyana welcomes private sector investment to construct multiple shore-based and deep-water facilities at the mouths of the Demerara and Berbice Rivers,” President Ali noted.
He said that these works, which would see hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars being invested by private investors, have commenced.
Further, President Ali reported that the Number 58 to Canje Creek Road in Region Six is already at the tendering stage, with works expected to commence before the end of the year.
This, he said, is part of the government’s efforts to expand access to productive lands for agricultural and other productive purposes, while creating opportunities for new investors and developers. The Head of State said that the clearing of the alignment and surveying has commenced for the Parika to Goshen Road, in Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), as well as the Timehri to Bartica link, which connects Sand Hill to Makouria.
Further, the tendering process for the construction of a new bridge across the Demerara River has commenced, and is likely to be opened on October 3, 2021.
In the vicinity of the western end of the Demerara Harbour Bridge, a new road is being constructed from Schoonord, West Bank Demerara (WBD), to Parika, on the East Bank Essequibo.
According to Dr. Ali, the feasibility study for the project has been completed, and the administration has progressed to the design and finance stages.
Added to that, the president said that the new highway from Eccles to Mandela Avenue has commenced, and is expected to be completed “long before the end of the year”.
“Works on the further expansion of this highway from Eccles to Diamond has already commenced, with designs and costings completed,” he said.
To supplement this, a contract for the Ogle to Eccles Highway is expected to be awarded by the end of this quarter of the year, with works commencing before the end of the year.
“Further, efforts to secure financing for the Ogle to Diamond, and from Diamond to Timehri phases of this project have also commenced, with the feasibility study already completed,” Dr. Ali related. He said, too, that the pre-construction feasibility studies and efforts to secure financing for the further extension of the four-lane road on the East Coast Demerara to at least Mahaica, has also commenced. He also pointed to the rehabilitation of Soesdyke-Linden Highway, which has already commenced.
“Works on community roads, streets, and residential areas have commenced in all 10 administrative regions,” Dr. Ali said.
He noted, too, that works to boost aviation are afoot, with efforts ongoing to enhance aerodromes and airstrips. As it is, Lethem’s extended runway has been completed.
Additionally, the president said that works are moving apace on the modernised Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), which is in the process of securing two additional air-bridges, while adding 30 new shops in the commercial centre. This, along with the construction of the “front-side curtain-walls” is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
“Work has already commenced on modernising our river transport system,” Dr. Ali noted, adding that several stellings across the country are also being upgraded.
“…and we expect to secure a new ocean-going ferry in 2021. This contract has already been awarded 10 months ago with a construction period of 18 months,” Dr. Ali added.
He said, pointedly, that the platform is also being laid for new growth poles and urban centres, with a planned sustainable new city.
“Works on Silica City are at a planning stage, with surveys and land acquisition being pursued,” the Head of State indicated.
He said: “The physical landscape of our country is changing dramatically as a result of renewed private sector confidence in our economy.”
In addition, President Ali related that the conceptual planning for transformation of the Wales Sugar Estate is in the final stage of completion.