As the vision of a bridge across the Corentyne River comes closer to fruition, the government is open to extending the bidding period to allow for more persons to apply.

Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill, made the disclosure during a recent programme, where he reminded that five contractors/joint ventures were pre-qualified for the project.

These include China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), China Railway Construction International Ltd (CRCCI), China Railway Construction Caribbean Co Ltd (CRCCCL), and China Railway Construction Bridge Engineering Bureau Group Co Ltd (CRBG), among others.

“Over the past couple of days, we have received correspondence, and through engagements with Suriname and some of the bidders, they have requested an extension of time for the submission of their financial proposals,” he explained.

The date of closure for the submission of financial bids is August 1, 2023, and the contract is set to be in place by October 2023.

However, Minister Edghill stressed that should the government decide to extend the deadline for the submission of financial bids, this would not affect the estimated date for contract signing.

“Even with the granting of the extension of time, our agreement is that we are not moving past October for getting a contract in place. We may be granting that agreement with Suriname, an extension of time, for the submission of those proposals. But we are looking at a solid October to complete evaluation, and negotiation, and to have a signed contract in place so we can get on with the work of that bridge,” Minister Edghill assured.

The minister also expressed that the river crossing is high on the infrastructural agenda for both governments, as it is primed to become a driver of economic activity and promote increased efficiency of trade between the two countries.

Once completed, the bridge will promote ease, efficiency, and safety in traversing from Georgetown to Paramaribo, reducing travel time and constraints currently associated with travelling via the Guyana-Suriname ferry.

A US$2 million contract was signed in May 2022 with WSP Caribbean for the Feasibility Study and Detailed Designs for the Construction of a Bridge over the Corentyne River.

In June of this year, during the Second High-Level Decision Makers (HLDM) meeting, Minister Edghill and Suriname Public Works Minister Dr Riad Nurmohamed were updated by WSP Caribbean on the results of the study.

WSP’s design model envisioned a two-lane bridge, spanning some 1,100 metres, with 22 spans measuring about 50 metres each. It is also expected to have a 10.05 metre carriageway, capable of accommodating three lanes in cases of emergency.

The bridge will be constructed as a public-private partnership and will be built in accordance with a Design-Build-Finance-Operate-Maintain (DBFOM) model. This is a model where the contractor/joint venture is responsible for the designing, building, financing, operation, and maintenance of the project. (Extracted from the Department of Public Information)


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