Final evaluations for Corentyne bridge underway, works to begin on Wismar bridge
The construction of the long-awaited Corentyne River Bridge will begin after a final evaluation is completed, Minister of Public Works Bishop Juan Edghill said on Friday.
During an end-of-year press conference, Minister Edghill said evaluations from both countries are underway and the overall approval will have to come from President Dr Irfaan Ali and Surinamese President Chandrikapersad Santokhi.
The estimated cost for the construction is US$611 million and 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.
“The procurement process of the Corentyne river bridge has been completed.
“The signed joint evaluation of both countries are before a team the two countries’ ministers of Foreign Affairs, Finance and Public Works and once that evaluation report would have been agreed and the way forward declared by that joint team, the two Presidents will then announce the start of the work om the Corentyne river bridge,” Minister Edghill said.
In June, WSP Caribbean, based in Trinidad, 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. The studies were valued at US$2 million.
Although Guyana was a signatory to the project, it was mainly funded by the Government of Suriname. 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 will carry an important collision protection mechanism.
Meanwhile, the new four-lane, concrete bridge slated to be constructed across the Demerara River at Wismar, Linden, Region 10 (Upper Demerara- Berbice) will commence soon, Minister Edghill said.
“The new four lane bridge at Wismar will begin work [soon]; monies have been provided, the contractor was identified and we are ready to go.
“[This is] not a campaign promise but we’ve gone beyond for works to commence,” the Minister said.
The estimated cost for the bridge is about US$35 million; the government is engaging the Chinese joint venture – China Railway Construction Corporation Limited.
That company is constructing the new US$260 million crossing over the Demerara River to bridge Regions Three and Four.