Edghill urges a different approach to road construction, concrete works

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
The paving of Conversation Tree Roadway by S Jagmohan Construction and General Supplies in January

Engineers of the Ministries of Public Works and Local Government were encouraged to embrace a new and enhanced approach to road construction and concrete works.

Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill made the appeal during a training session for staff of the two ministries at the Marriott Hotel, Georgetown on Thursday.

The training aims to empower staff with the skills and knowledge to adapt to evolving development needs and construct high-performing roads and infrastructure.

The minister pointed out that Guyana’s construction boom has brought a strong need for resilient, efficient work as the number of new and ongoing projects surges.

“The Government of Guyana is committed to delivering value for money. We don’t just want to say we spent money on a project, we want to be able to build it. In case anybody is thinking we are just building things for the short term…this PPP/C administration, whatever we are doing here is not for 5 or 10 years. This is a legacy,” the minister said.

He said that while the country’s oil wealth has paved the way for a litany of development projects, the government prioritizes responsible financial management to ensure long-term development, not wasteful spending.

“We are not splurging, but we also need to be projecting into the future,” Minister Edghill emphasised.

He underscored the responsibility of engineers to ensure that inconveniences are minimised and projects completed on time.

“People’s patience has an expiry date. Your number one priority is to ensure that projects are completed on time, and within budget,” the Public Works Minister underscored.

Minister Edghill acknowledged a vast improvement in contract management under the Ministry’s leadership.

He pointed out that when the PPP/C government took office, overpayment of contracts was a major problem for the then Ministry of Public Infrastructure.

“That has significantly changed. We are not going to pay for what was not done,” the minister said.

The minister expressed hope that the two-day workshop will foster interactive discussions on existing gaps in the road construction process and how these gaps can be filled effectively.

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Vladim Persaud echoed these sentiments and called for enhanced communication between the engineers and the clerk of works, especially concerning the design and methodology process.

“The idea is to have more communication and working with the engineers and the clerk of works within the various regions that are implementing the miscellaneous roads programme so that in the final design we don’t have situations whereby there is always an issue or there must be changes to the design,” the PS said.

Participants were engaged in sessions covering various topics, including Procurement and Finance, Survey and Assessment, Durability and Reliability of Road Works, and Rigid and Flexible Pavement Systems. [DPI]