Talks ‘still advancing’ with Chinese Joint Venture firm for new Harbour Bridge – Edghill

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The government anticipates that it can wrap up negotiations with the Chinese Joint Venture Firm very soon to see construction begin on the long-awaited four-lane, high span Demerara Harbour crossing.

Asked to provide an update on Tuesday, the Minister of Public Works Juan Edghill reported that “talks are still advancing” as the government seeks to get the best deal before moving ahead with the project.

“All I will say is that talks are advancing and we expect a contract to be signed soon so that we can deliver the bridge to the people of Guyana,” he said.

Initially, the government was in talks with China State Construction Engineering Corporation Ltd. – the first rank bidder selected from a list of pre-qualified firms. But that was scrapped over the company’s high cost to build the modern structure.

The initial company had proposed to construct the bridge at a price of US$256.6 million but upon examination of the total cost, the interest among variables was just “too high”, the Minister had explained.

Minister of Public Works, Juan Edghill

The government then initiated talks with the second most-responsive bidder: a joint venture between China Railway Construction Corporation (International) Ltd., the China Railway Construction (Caribbean a) Co. Ltd, and the China Railway Construction Bridge Engineering Bureau Group Co. Ltd (China & Trinidad and Tobago).

After the contract is signed, the government expects to have the modern structure delivered in two years.

It will land at Nandy Park on the East Bank of Demerara and Meer Zorgen/La Grange on the West Bank of Demerara. This crossing erves as a critical component of the government’s drive to expand and modernise Guyana’s transport infrastructure.

The high span bridge will replace the more than 45-year-old Demerara Harbour Bridge with a modern four-lane structure that will facilitate greater traffic capacity and dramatically improve commuter convenience.

Further, the new bridge will also offer critical connectivity to the new Wales Development Authority which will be a major centre of productive activity when it comes on stream. The massive gas-to-energy project, expected to cut electricity costs, is part of this new development authority.

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