Govt will address damages to Dochfour  homes –  Minister Edghill

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana

Dochfour residents were guaranteed on Monday that the damages inflicted on their property as a result of the ongoing East Coast Public Road widening and improvement project will be addressed.

Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill committed while facilitating a community consultation with the affected citizens.

During the engagement, the minister instructed the engineering teams, contractors, and consultancy firm to conduct a comprehensive survey of all the homes within the work path to promptly resolve the ongoing issue.

“By the end of this week, before we continue further up, a conditional survey of every home in the work path must be done inside and outside. We must learn from the lesson,” Minister Edghill underscored.

Minister Edghill in discussion with contractors

He continued, “The first instance is to settle the issue because it happens. We have to be able to keep the people’s interest protected but at the same time we can’t allow the contractor to be exploited,” the minister firmly underscored.

Based on an analysis done by the ministry’s engineers, it was determined that the initial cause of structural damages sustained by the homes of residents was the milling phase of the project.

The damages worsened due to a pre-existing depression at the head of the Hope Bridge and the constant traversing of heavily laden trucks generating intense vibrations.

Some of the damages consist of internal and external cracks in walls and breakage of windows in 13 homes.

Ten of the homes were within the 30-metre work path catered for in the contractor China Railway First Group (CRFG) contract, while three were approximately 300 metres outside of the work path.

For the homes outside the coverage parameter, the project’s contracted consultancy firm, Beston Consulting Inc., will provide guidance on the way forward based on the norms and standards of the FIDIC rule.

Edghill on the ground listening to residents whose homes were damaged

Additionally, to ensure each home is inspected, the ministry will publish the conditional survey on its social media platform.

Following the survey, a cost evaluation will be completed, and if there are still unresolved disputes, the government will acquire a technical engineer outside of the contract to further examine and verify the reasons behind the damages.

During the engagement, Minister Edghill also instructed CRFG to install speed bumps on the pathway before the bridge to reduce further impact.

The US $192 million East Coast Public Road widening and improvement project from Annandale to Mahaica commenced in 2023 and is expected to be completed in May 2025.

The project aims to enhance the capacity, safety, and efficiency of the East Coast Public Road, a vital thoroughfare in the region.

It involves widening the existing road to accommodate increased traffic volumes, improving intersections and junctions, enhancing pedestrian facilities, and implementing measures to mitigate flooding and erosion