Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill is in Region Nine conducting a series of follow-up visits to inspect rehabilitation works on various hinterland roads and bridges.
The minister met and interacted with contractors and assessed the pace and quality of work for the restructuring of 32 bridges from Kurupukari to Lethem.
“We’re not getting an office-desk review or a report. This was intended for us to experience the reality on the ground. We have noticed that there has been some deterioration of existing structures at various segments of the roads. We have taken notes of that as well and we have started to address that, “the minister stated.
He noted that the intention is to repair and fortify the bridges and roads in the area to facilitate a smoother flow of traffic. He also expressed that certain measures will have to be put in place to ensure the longevity of the structures.
“We have also noticed that as we improve engineering and design, it would appear that users and operators seem to think that this is an advantage to pack trucks with greater capacity than should be carried. Therefore, once these bridges are constructed, we will have to also standardize weight limits to ensure the longevity,” Minister Edghill explained.
The minister also expressed concern at the minimal work being done on these projects and emphasised the need for the process to be expedited. He noted that additional resources are needed to facilitate the completion of the works.
“The ministry’s engineers would have to be out here more regularly to give clear instructions and guide this process to accelerate it.”
He stated that within two weeks, construction works should be well underway.
“Contractors signed contracts with the Government of Guyana to execute projects in keeping with the terms and conditions of their bid, and I am holding them to that standard.”
Many contractors expressed that the weather conditions posed a challenge for the construction and rehabilitation works, but committed to establishing a comprehensive plan to facilitate an expedited process.
The minister also conducted road inspections along Tabatinga Drive, the Karasabai to Yurong Paru stretch, Central and Deep South Rupununi, Moco Moco and St. Ignatius.
The need for an established drainage plan for Lethem was also highlighted.
Minister Edghill was accompanied by the chief engineer for the Minister of Public Works, the Mayor of Lethem, and other representatives from the Ministry of Public Works.
In January, the ministry had posted an invitation for bids for the restructuring of bridges on the Kurupukari to Lethem stretch. Over $2 billion was allocated for these projects. The bridges were undertaken in six lots. In March, contracts were awarded to KP Thomas and Sons constructing Inc, Rim construction, VALs construction, International Imports and Supplies, Condor Construction Inc, and Theodore Faria General Contracting service.