(de Ware Tijd) PARAMARIBO – The government plans to start construction of a four-lane, south-bound highway in March next year. Minister of Public Works (OW) Ramon Abrahams signed the contract with ACE consultancy yesterday.
The engineering firm will be in charge of all preparatory operations while Chinese firm Dalian will carry out the project. Part of the highway is construction of a flyover from Molenpad to the Wijdenbosch Bridge. Two large roundabouts have been scheduled in the project: one at Latour and one at Paranam. The People’s Republic of China will finance the project.
OW’s budget will cover only a small part of the cost. The contract with Dalian has not been drafted yet, reason why OW hired ACE to discuss particulars with the Chinese. ACE director Stanley Koole thinks this project is both bold and important. Three other contracts were signed at OW yesterday, two of which with road constructing firm Tjongalanga. The first contract encompasses rehabilitation of the 27 kilometer stretch Weg naar Zee – Monkshoop, a US$ 30 million project. Engineering firm Sunecon has been contracted for supervision of that project. Tjongalanga will also be in charge of rehabilitation of the stretch Albina – Papatam, a 3.5 kilometers road which will cost the government SRD 18 million.
There has been some trouble over the road before. Angry residents of Albina had protested the poor state of the road. To speed the process up OW has skipped the required tendering. Tongalanga was chosen because the firm is already in the Albina area carrying out other projects. Minister Abrahams says both the Council of Ministers and the President have been notified of the urgency of the project and the necessity to skip legal requirements.
Parliament will receive a copy of the contract soon. Malvin Foen A Foe, director Civil Technical Works assures that the state knows the quality of the chosen contractor, so there should be no fears. ‘Our hands were tied because of the urgency. Tongalanga is a bona fide contractor who has earlier worked on the Monkshoop – Coppenamepunt stretch,’ Foen A Foe explains. He is convinced that urgent decisions should not stall development.