The Guyana Government is one step closer to bringing the new Demerara River Bridge to realisation with the inking of a loan agreement with the Bank of China for some €$160.8M (euros) for the advancement of works.
Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance Dr. Ashni Singh made the announcement yesterday, following the signing of the agreement.
Back in May of this year, the Guyana Government signed the US$260M contract for the new Bridge as part of its plans to expand and modernize Guyana’s transport infrastructure and significantly reduce the traffic woes on the East Bank of Demerara.
The project, which has been long in the making by the PPP/C Administration, was awarded to the Joint Venture of China Railway Construction Corporation (International) Limited, China Railway Construction (Caribbean) Co., Ltd & China Railway Construction Bridge Engineering Bureau Group Co., Ltd.
The hybrid-designed bridge will feature a modern four-lane structure (two carriageways), cycle lane, with a 2.65 kilometres length, driving surface of about 23.6 meters or 77.8 feet and will have a lifespan of some 100 years. The Demerara Harbour Bridge is also a vital linkage for the transport of agricultural goods from Regions 2 and 3 into Regions 4 and beyond. Therefore, easier and more efficient transport links will support agricultural development and food security for Guyanese.
The current Demerara Harbour Bridge is over 40 years old and connects the East Bank at Peters Hall with the West Bank at MeerZorgen, with an estimated 40,000 to 45,000 people and over 20,000 vehicles each day (11,000 per direction).
The new Demerara Harbour Bridge is a critical component of the Government’s drive to expand and modernize Guyana’s transport infrastructure and will address the challenges faced by users of the current bridge by providing safe, efficient, and effective crossing.
It will offer easy connectivity to the existing East Bank Demerara road, the new Diamond to Eccles bypass, the existing West Bank Demerara road, and the new Parika to Schoonord road.
The bridge is also a key strategic investment as economic activity on both sides of the Demerara expands rapidly, with developments on the horizon, such as new and expanded shore bases, a massive gas-to-power project and other industrial activities, alongside growth in more traditional sectors such as housing, construction, and services such as tourism. The bridge will play a significant role in accommodating and propelling economic growth.