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Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill said there has been a change in the Request for Proposals (RFP) for the construction of the Corentyne River Bridge linking Guyana and Suriname.
The minister made this disclosure Friday, during an interview with DPI. Minister Edghill said eight firms have already been shortlisted to submit proposals adding that the construction of the bridge remains a priority for both countries. Minister Edghill said prior to the change, the request for proposals from the firms only required them to produce a feasibility study and design for the high span bridge. However, following the recent bilateral summit between President, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali and Suriname’s President, His Excellency Chandrikapersad Santokhi, a decision was taken to procure the Corentyne bridge as a ‘Design, Build, Finance, Operate, Maintain’ (DBFOM) model.
“It means that some amendments will have to be made to the RFP that went out to the various firms and we are looking at having a DBFOM contract advertised soon and we want this to be ready in terms of proposals coming in by the third quarter of 2022.”
The bridge is expected to be 1.17 kilometres from Guyana to the abutment on long Island, 2.15 kilometres road through long Island and a 2.5 kilometres bridge from long Island to South Drain in Suriname. Minister Edghill said discussions surrounding the change is ongoing.
“That adjustment is being made, active discussions are taking place between myself and my counterpart, Minister of Public Works of Suriname and we are to have a final meeting to ratify our approach with some of our other colleagues and we are all set to go,” he said. In October 2020, Minister Edghill, along with Surinamese Public Works Minister, Dr. Riad Nurmohamed visited the proposed site for the bridge.
The following month, the two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the construction of the bridge, during a joint press conference. President Ali at that time said the bridge will link not only Guyana and Suriname but the rest of South America.
“We recognise the enormous benefit that this can bring in the area of tourism, transportation and trade. To this end, we have expanded our discussions where we can jointly promote business opportunities and tourism opportunities for both countries. It is therefore expected that the proposed road alignment will create within its vicinity the possibilities for free trade zone, enhanced land value, reduce the cost of doing business and increase the ease of doing business,” President Ali stated. Guyana and Suriname have shared diplomatic relations since November 25, 1975.