Alignment for East Bank/East Coast bypass being finalized

Geoffrey Vaughn

Engineers from India have arrived in Guyana and will be finalizing the alignment for the Ogle to Diamond bypass road, Head of the Ministry of Public Infrastructure’s (MPI) Work Service Group, Geoffrey Vaughn says.

Speaking to Stabroek News yesterday, Vaughn confirmed that a number of engineers from the consultancy group, RITES Limited, arrived in the country early last month and have started the feasibility study and design for the road.

He noted that the project has a timeline of 10 months and by the first quarter of next year, the design and study should be completed, which will result in the project going out for tender for the construction of the road.

“They have arrived and we are finalizing the alignment for the Diamond to Ogle road,” Vaughn said.

Earlier in the year, at the Ministry’s year-end-review, Vaughn had confirmed that the Indian company was procured for the feasibility study and design of the road.  “Two to three years ago, the previous administration would’ve started talks with the Indian government in terms of looking at a road link between the East Bank and the East Coast and I must say that will be coming through now,” Vaughn had said, while explaining that the Indian Government had responded in agreement to the draft contract.

The project, which is expected to cost US$1.3 million, is being funded by the Exim Bank of India. One of the stipulations of the contract is that it must be tendered out to an Indian contracting company.

Vaughn had also disclosed that competitive bidding and the selection of a supervisory consultant should be completed before the end of June, while bidding and the selection of the civil works contractor should be concluded by the end of November.

Early last year, Minister of Finance Winston Jordan had signed off on a US$50 million loan with the Exim Bank of India for the construction of a 20 kilometer road from Ogle on the East Coast of Demerara, to Diamond on the East Bank of Demerara.

Jordan had explained that the frustration of road users due to the lack of an adequate road network system to meet the tremendous growth was noted, and that the bypass road is a small step in the comprehensive expansion of the country’s road network system to reduce congestion and improve travel times on the roadways.

The new road link will serve as a corridor for communities on the East Bank, including Perseverance, Mocha, Providence, Eccles, Peter’s Hall and Aubrey Barker Road. It will also provide a bypass from the city, where most traffic flows daily, resulting in massive congestion and major delays.

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