The first phase of the feasibility study for a new Demerara River bridge crossing has been completed with several locations identified.
Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson, along with a team from the Ministry, and General Manager of the Demerara Harbour Bridge Corporation, Rawlston Adams, met with LievenseCSO on Monday, where they discussed the study.
Arie Mol of the Dutch company, led the presentation of the study which began in January this year. In his presentation, Mol touched on a number of points, including river/marine traffic, river modelling, and economic and environmental considerations. He also highlighted a number of possible locations for the new river crossing, including New Hope, Peter’s Hall, Eccles, and Houston, with lengths ranging from approximately 580 metres to just under 2000 metres.
A more detailed presentation of the feasibility study is expected to be made at a later date. Additionally, draft reports will be made to Cabinet and then open to consultation by the second week of April.
The feasibility study, which costs $146.3 million (US$706,091) and approved by Cabinet last year, following a proposal submitted from Dutch company, for it to conduct the feasibility study and design of a new bridge across the Demerara River, linking Regions Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) and Four (Demerara-Mahaica). The study is expected to be completed in July.
The contract between the Demerara Harbour Bridge Corporation (DHBC) and the Dutch company was signed on December 9, 2016, during which Arie Mol, Advisor to the CEO of LievenseCSO, committed to ensuring that all schedules are met and completed on time.
Floating at 1.25 miles, the Demerara Harbour Bridge is a strategic link between the eastern and western banks of the Demerara River. It facilitates the daily movement of a large numbers of vehicles, people and cargo. The structure was built in the 1970s, but was opened in July 1978 with the expectation of lasting only 10 years. However, some 37 years later, it is still floating.
In 2013, the Bridge Corporation, in collaboration with the then Public Works Ministry, had carried out a pre-feasibility study. That study concluded that a ‘fixed high level’ bridge was the best option to pursue.
The study considered the model, the tender documents and the sites proposed, and it will also make the final pronouncement on whether or not the construction is something that the country can go forward with.