Public comments invited as EPA begins environmental impact assessment for new Demerara River bridge

The Demerara Harbour Bridge

The Environmental Protection Agency will soon conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) on the construction of the new Demerara River Bridge.

This key step, which is stipulated in the Environmental Protection Act, Cap. 20:05, Laws of Guyana, will facilitate the public’s written submissions on questions and matters to be addressed or considered in the EIA.

In the EPA’s Notice which will be published on Sunday, December 13, 2020, the Agency said the public would have 28 days to make their submissions after the Notice is publicised.

The Public Works Ministry’s Work Services Group applied to the EPA for an Environmental Authorisation to construct the bridge.

An EIA is a prerequisite for the EPA to approve or reject the proposed development project.

Since it came into office, the PPP/C Government has made the flagship project a top priority, in keeping with its manifesto promise to resolve the burdensome traffic on and around the existing bridge that has outlived its efficiency.

On Friday last, 42 companies responded to the Government’s invitation for submission of Expressions of Interest to design and build the new bridge from Nandy Park on the East Bank of Demerara (EBD) to La Grange on the West Bank of Demerara (WBD).

This follows a visit from President Dr. Irfaan Ali to the proposed site for the bridge back in September.

The new four-lane bridge is expected to stimulate other key infrastructural projects and others that will lead to numerous spin-off benefits.

One major project will be a four-lane highway from the new bridge on the Region Three end, to Parika.

Two months ago, when President Ali visited a possible alignment of the new thoroughfare, he said the project is expected to stimulate the growth of the housing, tourism, industrial, agricultural sectors and others. [Extracted and Modified from DPI]