Hunter Street completion further delayed
Contractors have failed to live up to assurances given earlier in April that Hunter Street, one of the main access roads from the East Bank corridor into Georgetown, would be completed by April 12, 2021.
With a new deadline, the road is now expected to be completed by April 28, 2021.
Speaking with the News Room by telephone on Wednesday, Mathew Vieira of Vieira 66 Logistics, the company currently conducting the upgrades to the once derelict road, said the additional extension was granted by the Ministry of Public Works because of delays caused by the rainy weather and additional features added to the contract.
Among the new tasks, Vieira 66 Logistics had to install below surface pipes at the junction of Hunter Street and Front Road. This required breaking the road to install the pipes.
The young Vieira said the company was also asked by the Ministry of Public Works to connect Hunter Street to Mandela Avenue, which is also under construction.
This was not originally included in the contract given to Vieira 66 Logistics and should have been done, instead, by the Chinese contracting firm for the Sherriff/Mandela Road – Sinohydro Corporation Ltd.
“We will be finished with the road by Saturday or early next week,” he said.
The drainage issue at the Front Road has been rectified already and the company is only left to conduct the paving and proper connecting of Hunter Street to Mandela Avenue.
“We need at least three to four days of sun to do this… it was a lot of extra work we had to do on this contract,” Vieira said.
He, however, could not say what the new sum for the contract is.
The initial contract for $86.6 million was awarded in May 2019 to Surrey Paving and Ideal Engineering for the geometric improvement of the street, which included raising the level of the road above the drains to prevent flooding and the upgrade of the sidewalks. The works were initially slated to conclude in December 2019.
Because of failure to deliver, the contract was terminated in January 2021 and given to Vieira 66 Logistics. But while citizens will soon get relief with the completion of Hunter Street, the same cannot be said for the adjoining Sherriff/Mandela Road.
The contracting firm has already indicated that it may not be able to meet its August 2021 deadline, largely because of setbacks caused by the rainy weather and the movement of utility infrastructure.