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The move falls into government’s plans to expand and modernise Guyana’s transport infrastructure, and significantly reduce the incessant 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 China Railway Construction Corporation Limited. It is expected to commence immediately, and be completed within two years.
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, with a lifespan of some 100 years.
The new crossing will replace the current bridge, which has already outlived its span by some 40 plus years. The current structure, with its mechanical and other issues, causes hundreds of millions of dollars in repairs each year.
The new bridge will provide better connectivity to the East Bank Demerara (EBD) road, the Diamond-to-Ogle bypass road on the eastern side of the river, as well as the West Bank Demerara Road including the Parika-to-Schoonard road on the western side of the river.
Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Guyana, Guo Haiyan, in brief remarks, said the bilateral project will strengthen the diplomatic ties between the Governments of China and Guyana.
“We believe this new bridge will be a landmark project in Guyana after completion. It will be effectively promoting the flow of people and logistics on both sides of the river which will save economic and time cost of transportation, and promote regional development.”
Works to be provided for the construction of the new bridge will be high quality, according to Haiyan.
The project attracted 14 bidders, which were later reduced to nine firms from Europe, North America, and Latin America, among others.
Also present at the signing ceremony were Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand, M.P., Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn, M.P., Minister of Tourism Industry and Commerce Oneidge Walrond, M.P. among other officials.