Mobilisation has begun for the start of a new East Coast Demerara highway to be constructed along the railway embankment.
The government has awarded a US$184 million contract for the new four-lane highway which will stretch from Sheriff Street in the city to Mahaica, East Coast Demerara. It is expected to be completed in two and a half years.
The contract has been awarded to China Railway First Group Limited, the Chinese construction firm that worked on the four-lane expansion of the East Coast Demerara public road, which straddles the Atlantic ocean.
That contract, Minister of Public Works Juan Edghill told the News Room, was awarded about one month ago. The company is now in the process of mobilising resources to start the project.
This project, along with the ECD Public Road widening and improvement project, were publicly tendered as a single project.
Based on a tender evaluation document from the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB), two bids were received. The first was from the China Railway First Group Co. Limited and second from the China Harbour Engineering Company.
The China Railway Group submitted a bid for $184.9 million while the China Harbour Engineering Company submitted two bids valued at $223.5 million and $4248.5 million.
The railway embankment was formerly the British Guiana railway and it has served as an alternate carriageway for commuters for years. The current paved stretch of roadway begins at Sheriff Street in Georgetown and ends at Enmore.
Ahead of the reconstruction of the new embankment highway, the government has already been upgrading the bridges along the railway embankment. What the government has been doing is replacing steel panels with more durable concrete structures– a move that could soon become the standard all across the country.
Earlier this month, Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo announced that the government is pursuing this project in a bid to relieve the increasing traffic congestion along the East Coast.
It joins other efforts such as the establishment of a new Ogle to Eccles bypass roadway and the Conversation Tree to Dennis Street expansion.