‘Procurement slow’ but work expected next year on Linden-Mabura road
Five months after the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) recommitted its support for the completion of the US$190M Linden to Mabura Hill Road and with Minister of Public Works, Juan Edghill announcing then that works are expected to start soon, the contract is yet to be awarded.
With the United Kingdom funding part of the project, British High Commissioner Jane Miller has decried the slow pace of procurement.
“The project is still in procurement but I’m hopeful that it will come out of procurement and work will start next year.
“The procurement has been rather slow,” Miller told the News Room on Monday during an exclusive interview.
The US$190 million road is being funded jointly by the CDB, the United Kingdom (UK) and Guyana. The UK is providing US$66 million and Guyana, the remaining US$12 million.
According to High Commissioner Miller, there was a recent meeting among herself, Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh, the CDB, and the High Commission’s development team in Barbados “to get the project moving.”
“Soon you will see a team on the ground and you will see some improvements,” she said.
Approximately 121 km of gravel road extending from Linden to Mabura Hill will be upgraded to an asphaltic concrete road. The works will improve the connectivity between Guyana’s hinterland and coastal regions.
With the government already spending some $150 million to upgrade the Linden/Soesdyke Highway this year, the upgrades to the road link to Region Nine, which borders Brazil, are a major boost for hemispheric connectivity.
The road will lead to the Takutu Bridge and into Brazil; it will open linkages to other parts of South America.
In July, Edghill had said the contract was at the final procurement stage and the government was awaiting the CBD’s approval for several companies that have been shortlisted.
Once that approval is granted with the pre-qualification already completed, the companies will be invited to make their price proposals. That should have happened by September 2021.
A Project Management Unit (PMU) was established to coordinate the various activities within the project. The key elements of the scope of works include asphaltic concrete surface, two reinforced concrete bridges of approximate span 20m, five reinforced concrete twin box culverts, 17 reinforced concrete minor pipe culverts, and geocell lined drains, and concrete-lined drains.