Sussex St bridge completed 4 weeks ahead of schedule
…Hunter St project also slated for early finish
With the Public Works Ministry exercising keen oversight on construction projects, the Sussex and Hogg Streets, Georgetown bridge has been completed ahead of schedule, while works on Hunter Street are also slated for an early finish.
Public Works Minister Juan Edghill on Saturday participated in the ribbon-cutting for the Sussex and Hogg Streets, Alboustown, Georgetown bridge. The bridge has been down for months after being damaged by an overladen truck.
But four weeks ahead of schedule and $15.9 million later, the bridge has been completed by Devcon Construction. In his remarks, Edghill urged motorists, particularly cargo hauliers, to be responsible and adhere to the recommended weight limit on the country’s infrastructure.
“This bridge was damaged on September 11, 2020… what transpired was that a containerised haulier carrying tonnes of container cargo, reversed on this bridge to turn around and broke it. Now, this is a community bridge. Not a bridge in a commercial zone,” Edghill said.
“It could carry a truckload of sand, a canter of material to build a home. But to have an unconscionable act of a container truck, with a 40-foot container on it, using a community bridge to turn around, is something that must be addressed in a very public way.”
The Minister noted the chances that even while they are fixing the Sussex and Hogg Streets bridge, the very same thing could be happening at another location in the country. According to Edghill, development is held back when the Government has to repair what was already built but not maintained.
Meanwhile, Minister Edghill also paid a visit to nearby Hunter Street, where works are being executed by Vieira 66 Logistics. While there, contractor Mark Vieira revealed that works are over a month ahead of scheduled and that he and his team will work 24/7 to get the work done.
“We took on this project a few months ago. We had a lot of issues with rain. But right now, we’re ahead of schedule. And we’re going to finish at least a month and a half or two months before the contract was supposed to be finished.”
“Right now, we’re just waiting for some materials. And we’re going to work 24/7. Because I know to eliminate that bottleneck we have with the traffic, it’s very difficult. So, we’re going to get it done as fast as possible,” Vieira said.
In his remarks, Edghill noted the importance of completing Hunter Street, relative to the current four-lane upgrade taking place on Sheriff-Mandela. According to the Minister, if Hunter Street is not fixed in a timely manner, it can exacerbate the traffic congestion on and off the East Bank of Demerara.
Minister Edghill was nevertheless pleased with the progress made by Vieira 66 Logistics. According to him, his technical officers are constantly meeting with the contractor and any issues raised are addressed as quickly as possible.
“I’m happy that work is moving apace, because of my instructions and the importance of getting this road done ahead of time, because I said to the contractor, I want this road done ahead of time,” the Minister explained.
“Twice a week, my senior technical people are meeting with the contractor to manage, monitor and ensure things are moving well. And this is how we intend to manage all major projects. Because we just can’t have people on work, they have issues to resolve, it’s not being resolved and the people are suffering.”
When functional, Hunter Street is a popular connection for persons looking to get onto the East Bank of Demerara while avoiding traffic on Saffon Street. The previous contractor, Surrey Paving and Engineering, was contracted in 2019 but despite several extensions did not complete work on the street. (G3)