Govt to remedy safety breaches on Sheriff Street/Mandela Avenue Project

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The Public Infrastructure Ministry will be picking up the slacks after the Chinese contractor, SINOHYDRO, failed to implement some of its contractual obligations such as traffic safety and environment compliance on the Sheriff Street/Mandela Avenue Road Upgrade and Expansion Project.

The project donor, the Inter-American Development Bank, suspended the disbursements of payments for the US$31M Sheriff/Mandela Road Expansion as a result significant breaches in the loan agreement relating to the Environmental and Social Management.

This is coupled with the contractor’s failure to implement the required traffic safety and control measures of the site-specific Traffic Control Plans – something which the Public Infrastructure Ministry said it had written SINOHYDRO about several times, as recent as October 25.

In a statement on Wednesday evening, the Ministry said while the contractor has complied with some of the safety regulations it is still lacking in relation to certain maintenance works such as cleaning of drains, maintenance of street lighting and clearing of verges etc.

As such, the Ministry’s Special Project Unit will be undertaking the road maintenance and general patching of the road surface and the costs for these repairs will be deducted from the contractor’s payment since these works are part of its responsibility.

Additionally, if the SINOHYDRO fails to fix the defects it was flagged for by the IDB then the Ministry will also repair, replace and secure the areas and again deduct from the contractor’s payment.

According to the Public Infrastructure Ministry, no supplementary funding will be required for the project.

It further noted that it has been in discussions with the IDB regarding the measures to be adopted by the Contractor for not only the resumption of disbursement of funds but also for a plan to correct all the misgivings under the contractual clauses.