The government of Guyana in South America will launch a competition for the construction of a 1.8km road bridge over the Demerara River in Georgetown in October, says a report.
It will replace a 43-year-old floating bridge that was meant to be used for only 10 years (pictured).
Guyana’s President Irfaan Ali announced the decision on Monday, reports local news outlet News Room.Â
He said the bridge was part of his People’s Progressive Party’s plan to expand Guyana’s transport infrastructure to improve connectivity with neighbours and trading partners.
Around 20 companies expressed interest in the project when it was announced last year, out of which a shortlist of nine was compiled. These were:
- The Suriname subsidiary of Dutch contractor Ballast Nedam
- The Guyanese subsidiary of Dutch contractor Boskalis
- The Dutch subsidiary of French contractor Eiffage Genie Civil
- Brazilian contractor Odebrecht
- Rizzani de Eccher Construction of Italy
- China State Construction Engineering
- China Gezhouba Group
- A joint venture between China Railway International and China Road and Bridge
- China Railway Construction Corporation
At present, the Demerara River is crossed by a floating bridge (pictured). This was completed in 1978, but it is now 33 years beyond its design life, and hampers navigation on the Demerara River. The new bridge, by contrast, will have spans that are at least 50m high.
Plans for a fixed link were announced in December 2015, and tenders were received from 23 international and local companies. However, these were superseded in August 2017 when a scheme to build a bridge 2km north of the existing link were put forward. This was then dropped in favour of a crossing 6km south of the river mouth, at the same location as the floating bridge. This will connect the Georgetown districts of Nandy Park and Meer Zorgen.
The construction of the bridge is expected to take two years.
Image: The 43-year-old Demerara Harbour Bridge was originally intended to last 10 years (Dan Lundberg/CC BY-SA 2.0)