Berbice bridge floats closer
Stabroek News
July 1, 2004

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As plans to construct a floating bridge across the Berbice River advance, moves are afoot to assemble a consortium to finance the project.

Cabinet Secretary Dr Roger Luncheon, briefing reporters at his weekly post cabinet press media gathering yesterday, said a consortium was identified as the most suitable financing mechanism for the structure.

He said such a group might comprise players from both the private and state sectors including government, in order to acquire the anticipated US$40M to realise the project.

He said that a revenue stream of between US$3M and US$4M per year from expected toll receipts has been deemed adequate to allow for the proper functioning of the bridge as well as providing returns to investors.

According to Luncheon, a floating bridge which crosses just off the Canje Bridge on the right bank of the creek is the preferred option.

"Arrangements are being made so as to initiate work on the preparation of the designs and the bid documents for the civil works components of the project," the cabinet secretary said.

Luncheon defended the decision to go ahead with the design and locating the bridge near to the mouth of the Berbice River indicating that such a structure would allow for the utmost freedom in handling downstream traffic.

He posited that a high-span structure would have seen consideration having to be made to accommodate the movement of vessels particularly with renewed interest in the bauxite industry and the possibility of a deep-water harbour on the Berbice River.

The cabinet secretary also alluded to the cost factor and the possibility of returns on the investment as well as expertise in managing floating structures as helping to determine the type and placement of the structure.