Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill, on Saturday, while inspecting the construction of the Mandela/Sherriff Road said the October 31, deadline for the completion of the road will be extended due to changes in the weather patterns and delivery of road safety and electrical materials.
The Minister is however, pleased with the efforts made by all persons involved in the construction of the road as significant work has already been done.
“Walking this road today and checking what is happening even though we will not make realistically the 31 of October deadline, I have great appreciation of the efforts that have been made- my team, the consultant, the contractors, over the last several months what we have up until this point in as much as it looks like we wouldn’t make the deadline of October 31, is that we have done a significant amount of work,” Minister Edghill said.
Minister Edghill said he will ensure all heavy construction work is in place so that any extension of time in the project will be the installation of traffic signals and electrical works.
“I regret that we could not have had the simultaneous work with the installation of the traffic lights, the traffic signals, the road safety signs all going on simultaneously and that is not happening because they have not yet arrived in the country,” the Minister stated.
The Minister also noted that while the contractor’s goal is to complete the main road as soon as possible, other issues will also be dealt with along the way. One such issue is the construction of the entrances to other streets from the main road. He assured that these entrances will be properly built within the next two weeks.
“People could be rest assured within another two weeks all the entrances of the main road, whether it is into a main street or a small street, that people would (not have ) to suffer the inconvenience of coming off the high and then their cars knocking at the bottom, we are remedying all of that,” the Minister assured.
Minister Edghill added that another issue of contention that occurred while constructing the Lamaha bridge was the significant rise in the turbidity of the water. The project came to a halt to avoid disruption of water supply in Georgetown. This issue has been resolved and the construction is currently ongoing.
“We are behind schedule on this bridge…one of the big issues that we had here is that you would realise that this is the canal that provides water to the shelter belt which is what GWI processes for distribution in the Georgetown network…
The turbidity level rose significantly so we’ve had occasions where we had to actually stop working and then we had to put measures in place to control that so that we could be able to get on with the work, we just can’t concentrate on building the road and the bridge and then disrupt water supply to Georgetown,” the Minister said.
Meanwhile, Supervisor from the Ministry of Public Works, Mr. Krishna Narine said in order to mitigate the increased turbidity of the water, three silt traps were installed to filter the water and completely eliminate the turbidity problem.
Mr. Narine also said the contractors are currently building the “guard rails” which is the final stage of construction.
“We are scheduling by the end of October that this bridge will finish in all respects, we will leave the temporary bridge up so that when we are building the approach road the traffic is not disrupted,” he said.
Additionally, the construction team is currently inspecting the four-lane aspect of the project. This phase of the project will commence as soon as the Lamaha bridge is completed.