East Coast road project 35% completed; Ministry addresses concerns

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The Ministry of Public Infrastructure said the East Coast Demerara Road project is 35% complete and it anticipates that all works for the four-lane section will be substantially completed by December 2018.

Seeking address concerns raised about traffic management along the East Coast corridor, the Ministry rubbished claims that the project is unsupervised leading to “chaos and millions in losses.”

Responding to an article carried in the Kaieteur Newspaper on September 19, 2018, the Ministry said the US$50,195,941.34 road expansion project awarded to China Railway First Group Company Limited (CRFG), is being supervised by an International Consultancy Firm: Sheladia Associates Inc. in association with E&A Consultants for a cost of US$2,310,899.

“On a daily basis an average of twenty specialized technicians are on site to observe and monitor the works of the project. The technicians ensure that all quality standards, safety measures and environmental regulations are adhered to,” the Ministry said.

The consultancy firm is also responsible for ensuring that there is compliance with the traffic management plan.

The Ministry said a safety and environment audit was done a few days ago where the pressing issues affecting the residents and commuters were logged and the contractor instructed to remedy them within a week.

Some residents have complained about the dust from the road works to which three water trucks were dispatched to the location to wet the road seven times per day, the Ministry said.

Additionally, one of the interventions which have been implemented is for more trained flagmen to be used to regulate the flow of traffic while materials are being offloaded on site.

“Trucks will not offload materials during the peak period in the mornings and afternoons,” the statement noted.

The Ministry sought to dispel claims that drivers are forced to wait more than two hours in traffic noting that commuters have to wait fifteen to twenty minutes the most.

The speed limit in the construction zone is 20 km per hour, which should be understandable since major road works are being done, the Ministry pointed out.

It also refuted claims that businesses in the construction zone are closed since they all have temporary access points to their businesses.

The Physical works on the East Coast Demerara Road project commenced on August 29, 2017 and the project is expected to be completed in September 2019 and thereafter the Defects Liability Period will last for one year.

The scope of works for the project includes the widening of the existing roadway between Better Hope to Annandale into four lanes and thereafter an upgrade of the existing two-lane road. Seven bridges and twelve culverts will be widened in the four-lane section and two bridges will be reconstructed. The Project will also involve the installation of sidewalks, street lights, traffic signals, road safety signs and markings.

The finished surface of the roadway will comprise of four inches of asphaltic concrete.

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