Sheriff Street-Mandela Avenue upgrade set for this month

The Sheriff Street-Mandela Avenue Upgrade Project is expected to start this month after the contract was awarded, head of the Work Services Group of the Ministry of Public Infrastructure (MPI) Geoffrey Vaughn said on Thursday.

Speaking at the Ministry’s end-of-year review press conference, Vaughn said that the site has already been handed over to the Chinese contractor who was awarded the contract – Sino Hydro Corporation Limited.

“As you know in 2017 we would’ve been looking to have Sheriff Street/Mandela Avenue works done. However, as we all would’ve known we had two sets of hiccups in the past and the Government decided they should do a reformulation of the 2741 loan, which was for the Road Upgrade Network,” Vaughn said, while confirming that the contract has been awarded to the Chinese company.

He added that the site has since been handed over to the contractors and “hopefully they will start in January and be fully mobilized.”

“We have a two-lane upgrade from the East Coast to Mandela Avenue, which is by the Cultural Centre and then you have four lane from the Cultural Centre right up to the Houston Area,” Vaughn said, while also adding that other things such as the Sustainable Urban Transport study, which looks at the Georgetown area for transportation sustainability is also being done from the loan and has been completed by the consultants.

“…And the East Bank road design which is now being used by the Ministry of Public Infrastructure to actually execute works in the East Bank Berbice area,” Vaughn said.

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 had explained earlier 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 reformulation 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.’

The ministry has said that the works would also include a pedestrian crossing 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 was deemed responsive.

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