Contractor says Sherriff/Mandela August deadline unattainable

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Sinohydro Corporation, the contracting firm working on the upgrade to the Sherriff/Mandela Road, will not be able to meet the August 4, 2021 deadline for the completion of the project, Minister of Public works Juan Edghill confirmed on Thursday.

Speaking with the News Room via telephone, Edghill said the consultant on the project has written to the Ministry of Public Works informing that the August deadline will not be achieved.

“The consultant has written indicating that the contractor will need time, more time because of the rainy days, that has not been concluded,” he said.

According to Edghill, a new deadline has been proposed but the two sides will have to discuss that further with the aim of possibly reducing the additional time being requested. 

In any event, the Public Works Minister has given strong assurance that the road will be completed long before the end of this year. He said the contractor complained about the inclement weather.

Edghill, who also addressed the issue on the Jump Start morning programme on HJ 94.1, said over the last two days there have been improvements to the surface of the road, offering relief to commuters who were forced to use alternative routes because of the deplorable state.

Since recommencing work last September, the contracting firm said it has been working to complete the drainages works, which is critical to the entire project. While road widening has commenced, the placement of crush and run and paving is largely dependent on the completion of drainage works.

The Project Manager, Hong Zhou, had said that the relocation and replacement of several pipelines belonging to the Guyana Water Inc. had caused some setbacks.

Since then and taking everything into account, including the inclement weather, the contracting firm said the August 4, 2021 deadline, which was in place since last year, seems unlikely. 

“By August, I don’t think we may be able to complete all the works due to the holding by GWI pipes but I will try my best to finish all the works,” Hong said.

The Sheriff Street – Mandela Avenue roadway was constructed in the 1970s.  The ongoing project is presently being funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to the tune of US$31 million and was originally contracted to Sinohydro, which has since subcontracted companies to complete the work.

The US$31 million project was launched in 2018 but was subsequently halted when the Coalition government threatened to take the project from the Chinese contractor.

It restarted when the government changed in August 2020.

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