US$44M WCD Road behind schedule, to be completed before contractual deadline – Contractors.
Despite several setbacks, efforts to afford residents 30 kilometres of a durable thoroughfare valued at US$44M from Hydronie to Vreed-en-Hoop on the West Coast Demerara, are progressing smoothly. Project Manager Lionel Kandasammy being interviewed at the asphalt plant.This is the official report from Lionel Kandasammy project manager, of BK International, who is a director on the joint venture for the fourth Road project being undertaken by Contractors Surrey Paving and Aggregate Limited and BK International.
Started in January with an aim of widening the main road, building side drainage and replacement of a bridge at Leonora, the project also includes clearing and maintenance of culverts.
The contract was signed by the previous Government and began on January 2, of this year. Also as part of the project, an asphalt plant valued at US$850,000 is also being set up for official launch in January 2016 that will produce in excess of 160 tons of asphalt per hour to pave both sides of the road. Yesterday a visit to the plant site revealed that works are also moving apace to complete the skeleton plant, with funding from BK and Surrey Paving and Aggregate Limited. The project also entails the importation and use of loaders, and trucks valued at US $160,000.
According to Danian Douglas, Project Manager of the joint venture, the project is currently providing for 52 persons, and that number will increase to a maximum 100 over time. The Italian-made Asphalt plant was sourced in India, and is said to be the first of this kind in Guyana, and will be a pollution deterrent that catches dust and filters in the best interest of the environment.
David Blake, the resident engineer for the project on site at the Boerasirie location, yesterday told this publication that the assembly of the plant will be completed in three weeks’ time.
Mr. Kandasammy showcases some of the already completed drainage works. Mr. Kandasammy showcases some of the already completed drainage works. The project, according to contract stipulations, should be nearing its 30 percent completion deadline, however it is currently pegged at 17- 20 percent of works completed. “We are slightly behind, because we had contractor challenges owed to the weather and utilities such as GWI buried water mains, GTT fibre optic cables… poles had to be relocated to widen roads while officially we are programmed for completion within a two and a half years time span… we will finish on time.” Blake also assured that it is not unusual to lose a bit of time in the initial stages of projects, but he assured that it will be finished within the period of the agreed years despite any inclement weather. All told, the road upon completion should have an economic durability of 20 years and is being built at a thickness of four inches. It borders between being a highway and a main road.
REPAIR AND REHABILITATION
While some persons are being inconvenienced and bridges to residents are being destroyed, the promise is that the project also entails repairs and rehabilitation works that will see the replacement of access bridges, some of which are concrete that will be removed and replaced.
“We had consultations with communities and with Neighborhood Democratic Councils, and they are aware that there will be some nuisances of dust that will affect residents, but to date we have had little complaints.” Blake also noted that there are some such properties at Cornelia Ida, however all hands are on deck to ensure that the contract is not delayed, as they are aiming for the project to build a road from Parika to Bartica. Upon completion, as part of the contract, there will be a one-year period for the contractors to monitor for effects and execute maintenance, during which time there is retention of 5 percent of the overall sum.
CONFIDENCE IN CURRENT ADMINISTRATION
When contacted on the progress, contractor Brian Tiwarie confirmed that the works are about 20 percent completed. “Our asphalt plant and the pug mill cement stabilizer are not just for BK’s use on projects. We will service the needs of other contractors through a batch plant on a level playing field.” More than enough! Contractor Brian Tiwarie speaks of the reserves of various levels of stone at the Mazaruni quarry to Stuart Hughes (backing camera) of SRKN engineering consultancy and Public Relations Consultancy Manager Bobby Vieira. More than enough! Contractor Brian Tiwarie speaks of the reserves of various levels of stone at the Mazaruni quarry to Stuart Hughes (backing camera) of SRKN engineering consultancy and Public Relations Consultancy Manager Bobby Vieira. During a site visit to the BK quarries at Mazaruni yesterday, Tiwarie assured that he has more than enough material in stock as well as reserves to see the 30km project through to the end, while maintaining a steady supply to other projects and customers.
“We are overcoming our issues and our asphalt plant that will be launched in January is the first of its kind for these parts, and was sourced for the long term development of Guyana, because of our confidence in the current administration and their development plans for the country.” The asphalt plant, he said, was sourced for this project through a joint venture arrangement with a Jamaican company after securing the project through the then Ministry of Public Works. “Ultimately it is for all possible projects to ensure timely completion through readily available supply of asphalt.”
The joint venture initiative, Tiwarie said, will also see some voluntary works being done, which has already started in the Crane area, through advice from Ministers Joseph Harmon and David Patterson for the construction of those small roads following a visit to the community last Sunday. Additionally, after meeting with regional administrators, it was agreed that community involvement on the West Coast is a must, and as such most of the labor force – some 90 percent – is drawn from the community for the project. “We are using materials from the old mill to help small communities through the fixing of their roads even as the project is ongoing,” Tiwarie informed. BK is footing the bill at present until the Jamaican partner comes on board with its financial investment from January of 2016.
On the subject of community involvement the company will employ about 40 as laborers from the communities, plus skilled personnel who will be focused operators, pavers, and grader and roller operators.
Upon completion, Stuart Hughes of SRKN engineering consultancy said “residents can look forward to better quality, specialized much safer roads as the project also includes safety features to save travelling time.”
Additionally “some urbanized areas such as Cornelia Ida and Meten- meer-zorg will have paved sidewalks.”
Tiwarie also said that “The overarching idea is to ensure Guyana’s development, hence the investment.”