A US$2 million contract was inked on Wednesday in Suriname for the feasibility study and design of the Corentyne River Bridge.
Minister of Public Works Juan Edghill and his Surinamese counterpart Riad Nurmohamed signed the contract with WSP Caribbean Limited.
The contract will last for seven months and the project is expected to be awarded by early 2023.
The expression of interest for the project was also launched on Wednesday during a live broadcast on Suriname’s Communication Service Facebook page.
Minister Edghill led a delegation to the neighbouring country for the signing of the contract.
During remarks, Edghill said the bridge is more than an infrastructural project but a vision for further development of the two countries.
“Development practitioners have agreed that bridges are key drivers of economic activity ensuring the increased efficiency of trade, rapid exchange of ideas and quick access to services for those you need them most,” Edghill said.
He said Guyana’s President Dr Irfaan Ali and Suriname’s President Chandrikapersad Santokhi have made the completion of the bridge a top priority for their first term in office.
After the contract is awarded for the construction of the bridge, it is expected to be completed within three years while the durability of the bridge should be 100 years.
Both governments have jointly agreed to construct the bridge using the Public-Private Partnership method of procurement with a DBFOM (Design – Build – Finance – Operate – Maintain) model contract.
Once completed, the bridge will transform travel between Guyana and Suriname, forge stronger cultural bonds and knowledge sharing activities as well as improve economic activities.
“It will be a lasting symbol of the friendship, innovation and determination of two neighbours,” Edghill stated.
He revealed that the bridge will be designed to pass through Lange Island, located along the Corentyne River. Edghill explained that the island has enormous potential to be developed as a commercial and tourist hub with the establishment of hotels, resorts and other forms of entertainment.
This, he posited, will attract tourists to both Guyana and Suriname.
“Landing in Guyana or Suriname should offer tourists the opportunity to seamlessly cross our borders. to cross and take advantage of the warm climate, pristine rainforests, beautiful rivers and hospitable people,” Edghill said.