Concrete batching plants installed at new DHB site as work progresses – Min Edghill
– to be completed by contracted deadline
Work on the new Demerara River Bridge that will link the East Bank of Demerara (EBD) and the West Bank of Demerara (WBD) is moving apace and is on course to be completed by the deadline in 2024.
This was revealed by Public Works Minister Juan Edghill during a recent episode of “The Guyana Dialogue” on Thursday.
“The work is moving apace for the new Demerara Harbour Bridge. Just under two weeks ago I was on the site examining what is taking place. They were currently installing four concrete batching plants which would facilitate the pouring of the concrete for the structures of the bridge. There’s a lot of preparation that is being done, all the geotechnical have been completed, the designs have been re-tweaked to ensure greater efficiency and we expect to get this bridge within the contracted time frame.”
The Minister also revealed that the contractor for the project has started to import some 250 containers of steel which will see them building out a steel structure that will be used to work on the concrete structure for the bridge.
“The contractor had started importing 250 containers of steel, which will form a steel bridge so they can work from the steel bridge to build the permanent bridge. So, they’re building a steel bridge to work as their platform to build the fixed structure concrete bridge. Those containers have started to arrive and they have already put in the piles, demarcating the work area to ensure that vessels and others would not be within any danger zone.”
He further stated too that plans are well advanced and very soon persons will start seeing physical signs of a bridge being built in another couple of months.
With $5.2 billion set aside in this year’s budget to advance works on the new bridge, Public Works Minister Juan Edghill revealed earlier this year that all the persons who were residing along the pathway of this massive infrastructural development have agreed to relocate without any resistance.
In January, Mohamed’s Enterprise gifted the Government its US$3 million prime waterfront property at Providence, EBD to facilitate the construction of the new Demerara River crossing.
In May 2022 a US$260 million contract was signed with a joint venture led by China Railway and Construction Corporation Limited to construct the new bridge, which will land aback Nandy Park on the East Bank of Demerara and at La Grange, West Bank Demerara.
In the 2022 national budget, a sum of $21.1 billion was allocated to the Public Works Ministry for work on the bridge. The China Railway and Construction Corporation (International) Limited-led joint venture outbid four other pre-qualified international companies that submitted proposals for the project.
In the months prior to the contract being awarded, the PPP/C Government, through a team of specialists – legal and engineering – was in negotiations with the Chinese company to finalise the terms of the contract. The new bridge will be a fixed 2.65-kilometre, four-lane, high-span, cable-stayed structure across the Demerara River, with the width of the driving surface being about 23.6 metres.
The bridge, which features a bicycle lane, will bring an end to closures to vehicular traffic with a 50-metre fixed-high span to cater to the free flow of vessels uninterrupted. The river will be dredged along a 13.5-kilometre stretch to accommodate large vessels.
This new bridge will replace the ageing floating Demerara Harbour Bridge (DHB), which has outlived its lifespan by several decades. At 1.25 miles (2.01km), the current Demerara Harbour Bridge is a strategic link between the East and West Banks of Demerara, facilitating the daily movement of thousands of vehicles, people, and cargo.
Specifically, it will provide better connectivity to the EBD road, the Diamond-to-Ogle bypass road on the eastern side of the river, as well as the WBD roads, including the Parika-to-Schoonord road on the western side of the river.
In September 2022, some $11.8 billion in contracts were signed for the construction of the Schoonord-to-Crane four-lane highway, a project that is part of a much larger initiative to establish a secondary road link to Parika, East Bank Essequibo (EBE).