Access bridges at Canals Number 1 & 2 to be completed in May

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana

Contractors are under pressure to complete construction on two crucial access bridges at Canal Numbers One and Two in Region Three by the end of May.

Significant delays have been encountered in the construction of these essential infrastructures due to objections raised by the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) regarding water flow and canal cleaning.

As a result of the stalled works, Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill met with residents Friday last, to address concerns and provide clarity on the ongoing projects.

The minister disclosed that a new design has been implemented to ensure the prompt execution of the critical infrastructures.

He assured residents that the projects would be completed no later than the end of May, and emphasised that excuses such as bad weather conditions would not be tolerated.

At Canal No One, construction works have advanced and are currently in the phase of the cutting of piles. The contractor, C & L Construction is carrying out the cutting of pile and pile capping on the 30 feet slabs.

Pile capping is the process of placing a cap or a structural element on top of a group of piles (usually driven into the ground) to distribute loads and provide support for the superstructure, such as a bridge or a building.

In this case, the capping phase is essential to form a solid foundation on which the piers are then built.

Similar works will be executed on the Northern Abutment, linking Canal No One to La Parfaite Harmony.

For context, an abutment is a structure constructed to withstand the lateral pressure exerted by an arch or span, such as those positioned at the ends of a bridge.

Initially designed to feature three piers and three pile caps, the project has since been increased to four piers and four pile caps to cater to a 30-foot span in the middle. Due to this change in design, the contractor sum was adjusted accordingly.

Additionally, at Canal No Two, the bridge’s design underwent a similar expansion. The pre-cast composite bridge undertaken by Rim Construction Inc was widened to make the span 30 feet wide.

Adjustments were made to the northern pier to allow for a smoother flow of water, while on the southern side, the abutment will be constructed.

The adjustment was necessary as the initial design would have resulted in the centre grove piles landing in the middle of the canals.

Addressing further concerns of residents, Minister Edghill instructed the contractor to remove the cofferdam to ensure residents’ satisfaction and not hinder the water flow in the area.

The contractor was also directed to complete the backfilling phase of work while awaiting a crane to expedite the project’s completion.

When completed, these vital infrastructures will significantly improve mobility for thousands of residents and road users, facilitating easier travel, access to essential services, and the ability to capitalise on emerging economic growth opportunities. [DPI]