Two years following the signing of a concessional loan with the Government of India, construction is yet to actually commence on the new road linking the East Coast with the East Bank of Demerara which was set to begin in late 2016.
The road, which will link Diamond, East Bank Demerara (EBD) to Ogle, East Coast Demerara (ECD) is intended to reduce congestion by providing commuters with an alternative route.
However, though it was announced by Public Infrastructure Minister, David Patterson that works were set to commence at the end of 2016, it is now being reported by his Ministry that the project is still in its preparation stage.
The project reportedly has three distinctive stages; Stage one – Detailed Project Report Preparation; Stage two – Construction Supervision and Stage three – Post Construction/ Defects Liability Period.
The final report of stage one, which is being undertaken by an Indian Company called RITES Limited for the sum of US $1,321,000, is expected to be submitted until April of next year, with actual construction expected to start in July.
This stage had commenced in April 13, 2018 and to date the Consultant (RITES) has submitted the Inception Report and Feasibility reports.
The Ministry of Public Infrastructure (MPI) in a statement posited that the “new road will also integrate other local distributor roads on the East Bank Demerara (EBD) with the road network of Georgetown and East Coast Demerara (ECD) corridor while simultaneously improving the connectivity with the Ogle Airport.”
According to the Ministry, “this is consistent with the Transportation Policy Proposal of the Greater Georgetown Development Plan (2001-2013) aiming to link the road networks on the East Coast Demerara (ECD), East Bank Demerara (EBD) and the Capital City.”
Currently, the East Bank Highway is the only exit route available to residents who occupy Georgetown, East Coast Demerara and East Bank Demerara.
Since these areas are below sea level and prone to flooding, the importance of an alternative route to be created in the case of any major natural disaster was also outlined.
The design will allow for a new alignment (approximately 15 km long) which will connect the East Coast of Demerara to the East Bank of Demerara at the aforementioned limits.
It will also allow for the integration with the existing road network via a number of Connector roads at Aubrey Barker Road, Haags Bosch Road, Mocha Arcadia Road and Diamond Access Road.
According to the MPI, “Based on submissions thus far the approximate budget is One Hundred and Four Million United States Dollar (US$ 104,000,000).”
“The Government of Guyana has also approved the Consultancy services for the continuation of this project; i.e. from Diamond to Soesdyke which will also commence in 2019” the Ministry said.