“Technical aspects” of Guyana/Surinamese bridge being discussed – Patterson

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MV Canawaima
MV Canawaima

The Public Infrastructure Ministry in Guyana has recommenced talks with its Surinamese counterparts on the much-anticipated bridge which will link the two countries.

In an interview with INews on Tuesday, the subject Minister, David Patterson, explained that the technical aspect of the project is currently being discussed while details are yet to be sorted out with regards to the project’s “foreign affairs” aspect.

“It’s an existing MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) that was signed under the previous Administration that we are working with so there’s a working group with the Surinamese and our Ministry on the technical details and that has been ongoing”.

Patterson added, “Of course there are not only technical details, it’s a bilateral component which has to go through Foreign Affairs so I am dealing with the technical details of it but the bilateral agreement will have to go through Foreign Affairs”.

He explained that the Guyanese Government has been working closely with its Surinamese counterparts on this project and usually meets about twice annually to discuss progress.

The Minister admitted that progress has been slow even as he was hesitant to say whether the groups have met for this year.

The bridge, according to Patterson, will have a similar arrangement as the Guyana-Suriname Ferry in that it is jointly owned. This, he explained, would, therefore, mean that the project will pass through several stages before it can be completed.

As a result, he was unable to say when a contract would be inked to allow these works to commence. There are reports that the bridge is likely to be erected at Moleson Creek or Orealla.

In May, several passengers were left stranded after the ferry, which plies the Guyana to Suriname, route encountered mechanical issues.

The vessel, MV Canawaima, officially suspended its services on May 27. The Minister had explained that the vessel was being powered by a tug for some time, which encountered some issues.

The ferry’s services still remain in limbo as parts are yet to be sourced to rectify the vessel’s issues.