Scope of Sheriff St-Mandela Ave road upgrade project unaffected by diversion of loan funding – Vaughn

Despite funds being diverted from the Sheriff Street-Mandela Avenue road upgrade project to develop infrastructure in Sophia and surrounding areas, head of the Work Services Group of the Public Infrastructure Ministry Geoffrey Vaughn has said that the project will still be executed fully.

Vaughn told Stabroek News that there will be no change in the scope of work to be executed.

Initially, there had been some confusion, since it was announced by the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) that US$30 million from the US$66 million Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) loan being used for the road upgrade would be diverted to the Sophia infrastructure project.

However, Vaughn explained that the total loan amount was not solely for the Mandela Avenue-Sheriff Street project. He pointed out that only some US$36 million was budgeted for the road upgrade project after the scope of works had been reviewed.

It was also explained that the shifting of funds is a re-formalisation of the original loan agreement and that the works that will be carried out in Sophia and the other communities also fall under the IDB’s ‘Road Network Upgrade and Expansion Programme.’

Vaughn also explained that the tenders are currently out for the Mandela Avenue component of the road upgrade project and bids are expected to be opened on October 11.

The ministry has said that the works would also include a pedestrian crossing, milling and new overlay of the surface and repairs to bridges and structures. The scope of works will also include relocation of utilities, and the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company and the Guyana Water Incorporated have been contracted for this aspect of the works.

The project was tendered twice; in 2014 and again in 2015, under the previous administration. On the second occasion, tenders were returned in May, 2015, as none of the contractors were deemed responsive.

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