The Government through the Public Works Ministry continues to invest heavily in the infrastructural development of Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne).
On Wednesday, contracts for the rehabilitation of roads across the region totalling in excess of $1.9 billion were signed. The signing took place at the Regional Democratic Council Boardroom at Vryman’s Erven, New Amsterdam.
The projects are being executed under two programme heads – miscellaneous roads and urban roads.
The rehabilitation of miscellaneous roads programme consists of 28 roads spanning 14.7 kilometres at a total value of GY$1,112,869,915 across the region while the rehabilitation of urban roads programme consists of 22 roads stretching 9084 metres.
Public Works Minister Juan Edghill explained that the work entails the rehabilitation of existing alignments to either asphaltic concrete, rigid pavement, concrete pavement or in some cases square pavers.
He pointed out that all of the contracts had a duration of 3 to 12 months. The contracts form part of the Ministry’s 2023 work programme.
“While we are having 3 to 12 months, we will be pushing to ensure all of you get your work done before the close of 2023,” he told the contractors.
In warning the contractors – some of whom would be executing government contracts for the first time – that he did not want a repeat of what transpired last year with some contractors who were executing road rehabilitation projects in the region.
In some instances, contractors dug up a road and then realised that there was no crusher-run or other construction material available, causing great inconvenience to residents. In some cases, it was months before residents could have got use of the road.
“Stockpile your material before you start construction so that once you start construction the inconveniences that people suffer would be minimised and we will be able to deliver a quality road in the shortest possible time,” the Minister said.
Among the roads to be rehabilitated are: Sideline Dam, Heath Burn Village, East Bank Berbice; McGowan School Embankment Road, Manchester Village; 8th Street, Fort Ordnance; Main Street, Belvedere; Primary School Street, Auckline; Sideline Dam, Number 73 Village and Middle Walk, Whim under the miscellaneous roads programme.
The roads up for rehabilitation under the urban roads programme include the main road network in Glasgow Housing Scheme; Strand, New Amsterdam; Number 58, Stanleytown; the main entrance to Savannah Park, New Amsterdam; High Dam, Angoy’s Avenue; Kent Street, New Amsterdam along with several streets in Smithfield and Mount Sinai, which is referred to as Angoy’s Avenue.
These roads were selected as a result of presidential and vice-presidential outreaches, Edghill explained: “Where people asked that these roads be fixed because of their condition”.
He added that this phase of the infrastructural works programme was an attempt to meet the demands of residents.
He said some residents in the past have not been kind to contractors, saying that the roads cannot be fixed if the contractor did not work.
“We have had situations in Berbice where people run the contractor with cutlasses, block the road from them coming in… these are the same people who asked for the road,” he noted.
The Minister instructed that the engineer and contractor meet every community where a road is going to be built. The engineer is required to provide the community with an unpriced bill of quantity and introduce the contractor to the community.
“The community must be aware of when the work is starting and when it is expected to finish, so they must be mentally prepared and make the necessary adjustments.”
The more we do, the more people are demanding because the sense of hopelessness that nothing will happen has gone. People are seeing things happening…” the Minister said. (G4)