Section ‘A’ Pattensen (‘A’ Field) to Cummings Park in Sophia has been earmarked for infrastructural upgrades in 2019. The $1.2Billion project falls under Phase One the Adequate Housing and Urban Accessibility programme that is underway.
The scope of works includes upgrades to 11 kilometres of roadways, five kilometres of concrete drains and five kilometres of reinforced concrete walkways, interlinking bridges, street lighting and two community and recreational facilities one of which will be newly constructed.
Special attention will be given to that part of the project which seeks to mitigate drainage woes in the Sophia area. Director of Projects, Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA), Omar Naraine explained that this will be one of the critical areas of the project.
“Sophia has a terrible drainage problem as we all know. Significant financial resources have also been allocated to fix the drainage problem in the Sophia housing area so we will be putting down concrete drains in sections and we are also putting down culverts. When we did our reconnaissance in the design stage, we noticed that there weren’t sufficient culverts to drain that massive catchment.” Naraine said.
To this end, contractors interested in bidding for the project have been engaged by the CH&PA in a two-day pre-bid exercise. On November 28, contractors were given details of the project while on November 29 both engineers from the CH&PA and the contractors were on the ground in Sophia surveying the areas where the work will be executed.
According to the Chief Executive Officer of CH&PA, Lelon Saul, the pre-bid meeting ensures that contractors tender a more realistic price. Saul said this step, taken by the authority, will also ensure a more fair and competitive bidding process since the contractors would have seen and will comprehend the extent of work to be carried out.
“We will be spending approximately $1.2Billion on these infrastructural upgrades. As a result, we felt it was necessary to call in the contractors, so they would understand how to complete the bid document because this is very important. We wish as many persons as possible to be qualified because if they are unable to complete the document correctly it may result in the disqualification.”
CH&PA’s civil engineer, Anthony Ragnauth explained that this process of pre-bid exposure will guarantee quality work is done which in turn benefits the residents of Sophia.
The pre-bid meeting also highlighted to contractors the possible environmental impact this project may have on the residents of Sophia. The successful contractor(s) will have to comply with several management plans which will alleviate a heavy environment and social impact
Sunil Gopaul, Environmental and Social Safeguards Coordinator, Adequate Housing and Urban Accessibility Programme said considering the construction and relocation that will take place next year, contractors will be asked to keep in mind the social, health and well-being of the residents
“We have done an environmental and social analysis where we found a number of potential impacts some of which can be noise, vibration, dust and other things that can occur as a result of the construction…” Gopaul said.
He also added among the adherence procedures in place for contractors are “traffic management plans, access management plans because there will be the relocation of some people and utilities which will cause some amount of disruption, also a waste management plan, hazardous materials management plan, emergency preparedness and response plans.”
This component of the first phase of the programme is expected to commence between March to April of 2019. The contract period, as well as the delivery deadline, per lot, is 300 days. Sophia is one of the communities under housing development that the government has prioritised in the 2019 budget. (Story and photos from DPI)