4-lane road from Diamond to Mandela by 2023 – VP

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana

The bids will be opened for the four-lane road between Eccles and Diamond, East Bank Demerara, from November 15, as Government seeks to award the contract by yearend.

This was announced by Vice President, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo on Monday during a press briefing at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre.

“On the 15th November, we’re opening the bid for the piece between Eccles to Diamond and hopefully before the end of the year, we can award contract for that road. By end of next year [and] early 2023, we should have a four-lane road to Diamond coming from Mandela,” said Jagdeo.

The new road that runs from Sixth Avenue, Diamond, to the Windsor Estate Road that leads on to the Eccles Landfill Site Road is already completed but Government was awaiting the completion of a bridge along the Mocha Access Road that will lead the new road from Diamond straight into Eccles. The other project will see an alternative road from Eccles to Mandela Avenue.

President Dr Irfaan Ali had announced in January that the Government is looking at building the four-lane road between Eccles on the East Bank of Demerara (EBD) and Mandela Avenue that will significantly ease the traffic congestion.

The link is expected to be the second phase of the overall Ogle-Diamond bypass road.

The bypass project will see a total of 26 kilometres of road constructed, linking two of the country’s main thoroughfares. This new road link will also be connected to key communities in Georgetown and along the East Bank of Demerara. These include Diamond, Mocha and Eccles – all on the East Bank – and Aubrey Barker Road in Georgetown. These connections will prove crucial in diverting traffic.

Speaking on the bypass project, Jagdeo pointed out that none of the prequalified contractors had submitted bids, and this can be linked to the extant pandemic crisis. He noted that they will consider just an access road in the meanwhile to open up the lands for developers until the project comes on stream.

“We tendered recently for the bypass and unfortunately none of the prequalified contractors submitted a bid, maybe because of COVID so we have to reengage the process. We’re hoping to start the bypass before the start of the year. That’s delaying a lot of our development along the route, the hospitals, the hotels etc. We’ll probably do a one-lane access road to give access to the property to develop it,” he outlined.

Back in 2015, the Indian Government had provided a US$50 million Line of Credit (LOC) for the road link that was initially slated for Ogle to Diamond, EBD. However, the project cost was driven up to over $208 million by the previous APNU/AFC regime and the project was at a standstill since 2019.

However, when the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government took office in 2020, it redesigned the project into two phases to fit the LOC – first from Ogle to Haags Bosch road, which is about 48-50 per cent of the project, and then from Haags Bosch to Diamond – in order to fit the US$50 million LOC.

In addition to the two-phase road from Ogle to Diamond, the Guyana Government is also looking to further extend the road to Timehri to provide an alternative access to the country’s main airport, the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA).