Home Top Stories Govt inks €160M loan agreement with Bank of China for construction of...
Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh on Friday signed a loan agreement with the Bank of China for $160.8 million Euros to be injected into the construction of the new Demerara River Bridge (DHB).
According to the Finance Ministry, the signing was done electronically.
Dr Singh explained to the Guyana Times that this loan will finance the majority of the cost to advance the bridge construction. He also indicated that the Guyana Government will put up the remaining funding to complete the critical infrastructure.
Already, some $21.1 billion in the 2022 Budget has been allocated toward work on the bridge. Back in May of this year, the Government signed the US$260 million contract for the major new Bridge as part of its plans to expand and modernize Guyana’s transport infrastructure and significantly reduce the traffic woes on the East Bank of Demerara.
The project, which has been long in the making by the PPP/C Administration, was awarded to the Joint Venture of China Railway Construction Corporation (International) Limited, China Railway Construction (Caribbean) Co., Ltd & China Railway Construction Bridge Engineering Bureau Group Co., Ltd.
The hybrid-designed bridge will feature a modern four-lane structure (two carriageways), cycle lane, with a 2.65 kilometers length, driving surface of about 23.6 meters or 77.8 feet, and will have a lifespan of some 100 years.
The Demerara Harbour Bridge is also a vital linkage for the transport of agricultural goods from Regions Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) and Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) into Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) and beyond. Therefore, easier and more efficient transport links will support agricultural development and food security for the Guyanese.
The construction of the new bridge across the Demerara River is expected to last for some years upon the commencement of work.
The current Demerara Harbour Bridge is over 40 years old and has outlived its lifespan. It connects the East Bank at Peters Hall and the West Bank at MeerZorgen with an estimated of 40,000 to 45,000 people and over 20,000 vehicles traversing each day (11,000 per direction).
The new Demerara Harbour Bridge is a critical component of the Government’s drive to expand and modernize Guyana’s transport infrastructure and will address the challenges faced by users of the current bridge by providing safe, efficient, and effective crossing.
It will offer easy connectivity to both the existing East Bank Demerara Road as well as the new Diamond to Eccles bypass, the existing West Bank Demerara Road, and the new Parika to Schoonord road. The new bridge will transform the face of transportation between Regions Three and Four as well as others.
The new high-span, four-lane bridge will facilitate the smooth flow of traffic without congestion and delays.
The bridge is also a key strategic investment as economic activity on both sides of the Demerara expands rapidly, with developments on the horizon, such as new and expanded shore bases, a massive gas-to-power project, and other industrial activities, alongside growth in more traditional sectors such as housing, construction, and services such as tourism. The bridge will play a significant role in accommodating and propelling economic growth.