The Guyana Government has indicated its readiness to begin negotiations with the China Railway Construction (Caribbean) Company Limited (CRCCL) for the construction of a new four-lane, concrete bridge across the Demerara River in Linden.
The bridge, which is estimated to cost US$35M, will replace the existing Wismar-Mackenzie Bridge that connects the two banks of the Demerara river in the mining town, according to Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo.
“We are at a stage where we are ready to start the negotiations, we have had three offers, and when the details emerge you will see that the offer that we received is very, very competitive. It’s to do a four-lane bridge across the river for a cost of about US$35M,” the Vice President said.
According to Mr Jagdeo, the high-level team that negotiated the US$260M contract with China Railway Construction for the construction of the new bridge across the Demerara River linking Region 4 to Region 3, is expected to negotiate the contract for the new Wismar Bridge on Government’s behalf.
“We have asked the Minister of Finance to put together back the team and that team was made up of Mr Gaskin, Teni Housty, the Finance Secretary, and Ronald Burch-Smith. These are the four individuals who negotiated that project, the one in Georgetown. They will also engage the company to finalise the contract, and so we anticipate that before the end of this year, construction of the four-lane bridge, concrete structure across the river at Wismar will start,” the Vice President said.
Under the previous government, an international engineering company had provided four possible designs for the bridge, which included provisions for two-lane traffic and pedestrian walkways.
Mr Jagdeo said when compared with the earlier design, the proposed model, which includes four lanes, will cater for even more traffic, and will be built at a lower cost.
He said the move to build the four-lane bridge across the Demerara River in Linden is in keeping with a commitment made to the people of Region 10.
Earlier this month, the Government signed a US$50M agreement with the Saudi Arabia Fund for Development for the construction of the bridge in Linden. That loan was one of two loan agreements signed with the Saudi Fund.