Bids to construct Corentyne River bridge being evaluated – Dr Singh

Guyana is currently at an advanced stage of discussion with its Surinamese counterparts in relation to the building of the Corentyne River bridge which will link Guyana and Suriname.
This is according to Senior Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh, during an event in the region over the weekend.
Reminding of the numerous infrastructural developments taking place nationwide, which continue to transform the architectural landscape of the country, the Minister apprised residents of the developments underway in Region Six and the exciting opportunities that they are slated to create.
“We are at an advanced stage of discussions with our Surinamese counterparts. We have already done a public international tender and we have received bids. The bids are currently under an evaluation process in partnership with Suriname,” Minister Singh stated.
In October 2023, two companies, the Dutch engineering company, Ballast Nedam and Chinese-owned China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) submitted proposals to build the bridge over the Corentyne River to link Guyana and Suriname.
Highlighting the importance of the bridge, the Minister said that not only will the project open new transportation avenues, but will also build on the bilateral and trading relationship between Guyana and Suriname.
“With the construction of the Corentyne bridge, irrespective of what you produce, your market immediately extends now into Suriname, and you have the potential now to deliver your goods and services into the country,” the senior Government official explained.
Back in June, Surinamese Public Works Minister, Dr Riad Nurmohamed visited Guyana to discuss the designs, financial aspects, and legal framework between Suriname and Guyana in the context of the tendering procedure.
The bridge will be built according to the Design-Build-Finance-Operate-Maintain model (DBFOM).
This means that whichever company is contracted to build the bridge will be responsible for its design, construction, financing, operation, and maintenance. It will also be constructed via a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement.
The bridge is one of the first agreements between President Irfaan Ali and Suriname’s President Chandrikapersad Santokhi, with both Heads previously underscoring the critical role the bridge across the Corentyne River would play in advancing cooperation, creating more opportunities for development for both countries.
Back in May of 2022, a US$2 million contract was signed in Paramaribo for several preliminary studies and research to be conducted on the Corentyne bridge by WSP Caribbean. The Expressions of Interest (EoIs) were also simultaneously launched. Six international companies – five Chinese firms and one Dutch company from The Netherlands – had submitted bids for the construction of the Corentyne River bridge. The bids were opened at the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB) in Georgetown back in August.
The high-span Corentyne River bridge will run approximately 3.1 kilometres, connecting Moleson Creek in Guyana to South Drain in Suriname with a landing on Long Island in the Corentyne River, where a commercial hub and tourist destination will be established. That free zone will see major infrastructural development such as hotels, recreational parks, entertainment spots, tourist attractions, malls, and farmers’ markets.
Running from Moleson Creek to Long Island, the bridge will be a low-level structure, approximately one kilometre long; with a 2200-metre (2.2 km) road across Long Island and a high bridge, spanning 2100 metres (2.1 km) thereafter.
At the high end of the bridge, which will facilitate marine traffic, it will cater for 40,000 to 45,000 DWT (deadweight tonnage) capacity featuring a vertical (height) clearance of 43 metres and a horizonal (width) clearance of about 100 metres.
Upon completion, the bridge will not only link the two neighbouring countries but also open up access to greater economic opportunities beyond them into French Guyana, and through the road network being developed into Brazil, and eventually further into South America.