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Works on new US$260M Demerara bridge moving swiftly

…temporary bridges being set up to install permanent structure.


Works on the new Demerara River bridge are ongoing, with the contractor on the project, China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) Limited, in the process of setting up temporary bridges to aid in constructing the US$260 million bridge.

During Monday’s session of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), the Ministry of Public Works responded to findings in the Auditor General’s report of 2019. The Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Vladim Persaud, was also questioned by the committee on the status of the new Demerara River bridge.


The US$260 million contract for the bridge was signed in May of last year and the contract has a two-year implementation period. Persaud explained that temporary bridges are being installed, as part of preparations for installing the permanent structure.




“Works are moving apace on the new Demerara Harbour Bridge crossing. As it is now, the company is setting forth or putting in place what is called their temporary work bridges, that will be used for the setting up and piling system that has to go in place. So, they’re at that point. Additionally, the company already has locations set up at the West Bank and also the East Bank in terms of a landing facility and operational yard,” Persaud said.

Persaud explained that the temporary bridges composed of steel pilings are being imported from China. He noted that as they arrive, the installation will be done and in fact, some are already in place. Meanwhile, Persaud explained the landing positions of the bridge.

“It’s expected to land over the East Bank corridor, which is the bridge approach… approximately near to where Windsor (Estates), around that length,” the Permanent Secretary further explained to the PAC. The new Demerara bridge will replace the current structure across the river, which has exceeded its lifespan by some 40 years. It is expected that the new bridge will be a four-lane, fixed span bridge with a lifespan of approximately 100 years.

The contractors are part of a joint venture led by China Railway and Construction Corporation Limited to construct the new bridge, which will land aback Nandy Park on the East Bank of Demerara and at La Grange, West Bank Demerara.

Back in 2022, $21.1 billion was allocated towards work on the bridge. The China Railway and Construction Corporation (International) Limited-led joint venture outbid four other pre-qualified international companies that submitted proposals for the project. In the months prior to the contract being awarded, the Guyana Government, through a team of specialists – legal and engineering – was in negotiations with the Chinese company to finalise the terms of the contract.

The new bridge will be a fixed 2.65-kilometre, four-lane, high-span, cable-stayed structure across the Demerara River, with the width of the driving surface being about 23.6 metres. The bridge, which features a bicycle lane, will bring an end to closures to vehicular traffic with a 50-metre fixed high-span to cater for the free flow of vessels uninterrupted. The river will be dredged along a 13.5-kilometre stretch to accommodate large vessels.

This new bridge will replace the ageing floating Demerara Harbour Bridge (DHB), which has outlived its lifespan by several decades. At 1.25 miles (2.01km), the current Demerara Harbour Bridge is a strategic link between the East and West Banks of Demerara, facilitating the daily movement of thousands of vehicles, people, and cargo.

Specifically, it will provide better connectivity to the East Bank of Demerara (EBD) road, the Diamond-to-Ogle bypass road on the eastern side of the river, as well as the West Bank of Demerara (WBD) roads, including the Parika-to-Schoonord road on the western side of the river. Back in February 2023, Housing and Water Minister Collin Croal had met with residents of Peters Hall on the EBD to begin the process of relocating 20 structures in the path of the alignment.

With $5.2 billion set aside in this year’s budget to advance works on the new Demerara River bridge, Public Works Minister Juan Edghill had revealed earlier this year that all the persons who were residing along the pathway of this massive infrastructural development have agreed to relocate without any resistance. In January, Mohamed’s Enterprise had announced that it had gifted the Government its US$3 million prime waterfront property at Providence, EBD, to facilitate the construction of the new Demerara River crossing.



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