Local, foreign companies submit bids for construction

Eccles-to-Mandela 4-lane Highway

More than 20 companies – both local and foreign – have submitted bids for the construction of the much-anticipated four-lane highway linking Eccles, East Bank Demerara to Mandela Avenue, Georgetown, to provide an alternative access road that would ease traffic congestion along that corridor.

CH&PA CEO Sherwyn Greaves and NPTAB Director Mark Conway witnessing the opening of the bids for the construction of the Eccles-to-Mandela highway on Wednesday

The bids were opened on Thursday at the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB) located in the Finance Ministry compound at Main and Urquhart Streets, Georgetown.
This was done in the presence of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of CH&PA, Sherwyn Greaves; CEO of NPTAB, Arvind Parag; and Director Mark Conway, while the bidders joined virtually.
According to the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) in a statement on Thursday, the bids submitted for the execution of the project are another key milestone it has achieved.
According to the CH&PA CEO, the impending highway is one of many initiatives by President Dr Irfaan Ali that are geared at infrastructure development as well as improving and modernising the lives of Guyanese.
“Persons traversing the East Bank corridor will be able to do so with much greater ease and comfort. This new four-lane highway will open lands for commercial and residential purposes, and will turn this throughway into a vibrant and bustling zone,” CEO Greaves said.
He further noted that CH&PA is pleased to be the executing agency of the multi-million-dollar project, and staff will be ensuring the project is completed in keeping with the criteria set.
“We can assure everyone that we will ensure this project is completed successfully, with all the required quality standards in place and all timelines strictly kept. We will hold the contractors accountable, as we will accept nothing less than what they have signed up for. Quality will not be sacrificed (for) expediency. Our President has made a promise (and) we will ensure it is kept,” the CEO affirmed.
On Wednesday last, CH&PA hosted a pre-bid meeting geared at sensitising bidders on key requirements, environmental impacts, the procurement process, and all other necessary elements in the preparation and execution of this transformational project.
Further, the agency held an Inter-agency Coordination Committee (ICC) meeting on Friday, to discuss the construction of the highway.
The ICC meeting featured a number of stakeholders from Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission, Guyana Police Force, Guyana Fire Service, Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development, and the Bureau of Standards among others, who were given the platform to raise concerns and make recommendations on the way forward.
Once completed, the four-lane road will run a length of 2.8 kilometres and would have a width of 3.5 metres. It will also feature twelve reinforced concrete bridges with single walkways.
Based on the bid invitation advertised, the works will be divided into six lots: Lot 1- Eccles, East Bank Demerara; Lot 2 – Agricola, Greater Georgetown; Lot 3 – Rome, Greater Georgetown; Lot – 4 Houston South, Greater Georgetown; Lot 5 – Houston North, Greater Georgetown; and Lot 6 – South Ruimveldt, Greater Georgetown. The highway is slated for completion in November 2021.
Some $1 billion has been allotted in Budget 2021 to advance the project.
The Eccles-to-Mandela highway was announced by President Ali last month when he visited the proposed sites for the road. The Head of State noted at the time that this project would ease the congestion along the EBD corridor
Dr Ali, whose PhD is in urban and regional planning, said this is all part of the Government’s drive to transform Guyana’s infrastructure and link communities.
This four-lane highway will connect to another road project currently underway from Diamond, EBD to Eccles – providing an alternative access in key communities.
These include Diamond, Mocha and Eccles – which will all prove crucial in diverting heavy traffic.
The new alternative road will run from Sixth Avenue, Diamond to the Windsor Estate Road that leads on to the Eccles Landfill Site Road. This will form a connection through the new Herstelling Housing Scheme and other schemes that are being developed along the EBD corridor.
Moreover, these projects are being executed simultaneously with the India-funded Bypass Road Project which would link the East Bank corridor with the East Coast of Demerara, creating a new highway in the backlands.
The Indian Government had provided a US$50 million Line of Credit (LOC) for the road link that was initially slated for Ogle, ECD, to Diamond. Under the previous Government, the project was at a standstill for several years, after the cost was driven up to over US$200 million.
However, the Ali-led PPP/C Administration has since redesigned the project into three phases to fit the LOC. It will now run from Ogle to Haags Bosch at Eccles in the first phase, then from Eccles to Diamond, and finally from Diamond to Timehri to connect to the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA).
During his inaugural address to the 12th Parliament on February 11, President Ali disclosed that the Indian Government has approved the new designs of the Bypass Road project, and things would soon move to the procurement stage. (G8)