Just over a year after a US$2 million contract was signed, WSP Caribbean, based in Trinidad, has completed its design and feasibility study along with all geotechnical tests and studies needed to move ahead with the construction of the Corentyne River Bridge.
A topographic assessment, hydraulic, hydrographic and morphological studies of traffic demand and traffic projects/forecasts; financial and economic evaluation; PPP evaluation/suitability, legal framework, environmental assessment, tender documents for DBFOM models, and the preliminary design of the bridge and roads are all in its final stages.
Officials from WSP Caribbean accompanied Suriname’s Minister of Public Works, Dr. Riad Nurmohanmed, for a meeting in Georgetown on Wednesday with Guyana’s Minister of Public Works, Juan Edghill.
The second decision-makers meeting and final close-out engagement with WSP was held at the ministry’s Wight’s Lane, Kingston location. It officially brought an end to the consultancy phase for design and feasibility studies.
Although Guyana was a signatory to the project, it was mainly funded by the Government of Suriname.
A presentation was done by officials of WSP at the high-level decision-makers meeting. The bridge will feature 119 spans, a width of 12.40m and carriageway of 10.05m, including lanes and shoulders.
It will allow for two lanes in regular conditions and three lanes in emergency or controlled conditions; it carries an important collision protection mechanism.
Minister Edghill said he was happy to be provided with the information even before the final report is readied so that it can be shared early with the qualified and shortlisted firms.
The China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), which worked on the expansion of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), is among five companies shortlisted to the build the Corentyne Bridge.
Those firms are expected put in their financial bids by the end of July with a closing date set for August 01, 2023.
Edghill is hopeful a final contract can be awarded by October 2023 and the mobilisation and actual construction to start by year-end.
The final cost will be determined by what the bidder is proposing in terms of the bridge’s capacity. But WSP has pegged the estimated total cost at US$611 million. The actual construction cost is estimated at just under US$500 million.
The evaluation period is 33 years, three years for construction, and 30 years of operation. The durability of the bridge should be 100 years.
The Corentyne River Bridge will be constructed via a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement and according to the Design-Build-Finance-Operate-Maintain model (DBFOM). This means that the successful contractor of the joint venture will be responsible for its final design, construction, financing, operation, and maintenance.
“I believe that both President Ali and Santhoki would not want this project to suffer any delays.
“As a matter of fact, they have attached the highest priority to moving it along,” Edghill said.
Dr. Nurmohanmed noted too that building the bridge is high on the agenda for Suriname.
“From Suriname, we will continue our work based on what the studies have said,” he noted.
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.