President Irfaan Ali on Saturday visited the proposed site for the construction of the new Demerara Harbour Bridge at Nandy Park on the East Bank Demerara.
Accompanying him was the Minister of Public Works Juan Edghill, Minister within the Ministry of Public Works Deodat Indar and members of the technical team.
The Head of State emphasised that the exercise was integral to identifying constraints, challenges and development solutions.
“What you are seeing here is the main possible alignment that will be developed to the four-lane interconnection road. Today, we are walking with the technical team, and we are hoping that by next week, we will have the conceptual framework put together, identifying all connections, drainage issues, so that we can move towards the planning stage.
“That will, of course, be incorporated into the Expression of Interest (EOI) published in the newspapers,” President Ali stated.
The locations visited included sites where the bridge will exist on the East Bank, then connect on to the East Coast, which will then connect to Ogle. There will also be interconnections into the city. The new Demerara Harbour Bridge will be from Nandy Park, East Bank Demerara to La Grange, West Bank Demerara, the Department of Public Information noted.
President Ali explained that the project would see an interagency approach, with help from the private sector.
“Early next week, we are going to bring together an interagency body comprising of utility service providers, officials from the Ministry of Housing, Lands and surveys, Public Works Ministry, and the communities. The entire link has to be futuristic in its vision, and a transformative plan, not just a connection plan.”
Alluding to the interconnectivity, President Ali highlighted that the alignment will further connect to the Haggs Bosh road or Bagotstown road, which will be developed into a four-lane connection between the new four-lane road and the old four-lane road. It will then link back to the new bridge.
“There is also the possibility of expanding the road back to the providence road; there is also the possibility to build service roads to support the main highways. That is important in our transportation plan too, to ensure that we have feeder roads to support the major highway,” he further explained.
The Head of State expressed confidence that financing for phase two of the project will be secured even before phase one has been completed.
He pointed to the urgency and importance of the new Harbour Bridge and assured that the project would be implemented expeditiously.
The President said, “We have to complete this bridge… we have, in my estimation, three years from when we start today, we should be having that fixed bridge. There can’t be too many time lapses on the project. The current bridge is limping along.”
President Ali reiterated that the exercise was necessary for the policymakers, project implementers, technical people, and the media to have an understanding of what is needed moving forward. (Extracted and modified from Office of the President)