11 contractors show interest in Berbice River bridge project

by Wendella Davidson
Guyana Chronicle
October 29, 1999

ELEVEN companies have indicated their interest in submitting tenders for the construction of a bridge across the Berbice River.

Minister of Hydraulics and Transport, Anthony Xavier in an invited comment on Wednesday, said the Guyana Government is in the process of inviting proposals from the interested parties.

The Government has already secured a loan of US$11M from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for the bridging of the Berbice river, but the overall cost is estimated to be between US$30M to US$35M.

An engineer in the Ministry of Surface Transport in India was made available to Guyana to undertake a pre-feasibility study on the bridging of the river.

And at the re-commissioning of the New Amsterdam Ferry stelling on Wednesday, Minister Xavier said that the construction of such a bridge will have an impact on the ferry service.

The Minister reiterated Government's commitment to getting the project `up and running'.

The Chronicle took the opportunity at Wednesday's stelling re-commissioning to invite comments on the Berbice bridge proposal. These are the responses:

* Annette Stephens, Number 28 Village, West Coast Berbice - It will save time especially when you have to conduct business. I came to New Amsterdam to attend to some business, but I had planned to attend a funeral in my home village in West Berbice this afternoon. As I see it, there is poor hopes whether I can cross (the river) and get there in time.

* A Commuter - The proposal to bridge the Berbice River is a wonderful idea because it will save time in terms of passengers crossing the ferry and especially vehicles. The length of time you have to wait to cross by the ferry, some of that time will be eliminated with the bridge, just like what happens on the Demerara crossing.

* Kaisree Chatterpaul, Attorney-at-Law - It's an extremely good idea. When one looks at the waiting that is involved although two boats operate on a regular basis, one can reasonably see the large number of man-hours that go wasted, day after day, week after week.

The construction of a bridge will certainly eliminate one major aspect, the waste of man-hours.

* Resident - I welcome such an idea. I have no objections since it will help in saving time.

* Sydney Kennard, rice farmer - Any bridge that is constructed across the Berbice River will definitely be an asset to persons like us. It will be a tremendous ease in terms of transporting our produce to Georgetown and much time will be saved. It will be more convenient. It will definitely be an improvement on the ferry.

Such a project will augur well for the future of Berbice and the country in a whole.

Courtney Benn, Contractor - It is definitely a very good proposal and one of the best things that can happen for Berbicians. I may be able to get some sub-contracts as a result of the project.

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