Additional team on board to speed up Sheriff/Mandela expansion


The Chinese Contractor working on the Sheriff/ Mandela Expansion Project, Sinohydro Corporation Limited, has brought in an additional team to help advance works to meet the government’s August 4, 2021 deadline for completion.

Minister of Public Works, Juan Edghill, on Wednesday, revealed that the company contracted Surrey Paving and Aggregate Co. Limited out of Jamaica to help speed up the construction process.

With the new team on board, Minister Edghill said that paving will commence on both Sheriff Street and Mandela Avenue in early July.

“[The] project is advancing speedily notwithstanding the challenges that they would have had with the excessive rain…what you will begin to see from early July is rather than just paving the taking place on the Sheriff Street area coming down, you will have paving also taking place on Mandela connecting to Sheriff Street…they should begin paving, putting on what is called the first lift early in July,” the minister explained during an interview with the News Room.

According to the minister, the inclement weather patterns over the few weeks have resulted in some sections of the road, which was previously repaired, now damaged.

“In the section from the Well, pass the Cemetery Road going to DSL, the contractors would have put down the crush and run and then got caught in the rainy season so the rain would have those washed out and now you’ll have a little what you call potholes but you will see great improvements over the next couple of weeks,” Edghill said.

A section of the damaged road (Photo: News Room/ June 30, 2021)

While he pointed out that some delays will be expected, Edghill said that the government has impressed upon the contractor the need to have to project completed on time. As such, the contractor is expected to work “night and day” until the works are completed, Edghill said.

“It is not exactly what I would want to see happen but certainly it’s very, very improved to what was taking place before I assumed office so the closure is in sight and that is what is important.”

Work on the Sherriff Street-Mandela Avenue Project commenced in August 2018, with the contract for the project being awarded to Sinohydro Corporation Limited in November 2017; they have since subcontracted several companies to complete the work.

The ongoing project is presently being funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to the tune of US$31 million.  The project was halted when the previous Coalition government threatened to rescind the contract from the Chinese contractor, but it was later restarted when the government changed in August 2020.

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