Jagdeo questions Govt’s decision to change design

first_imgDemerara River crossing– says approach ill-conceived, will be burdensomeThe Opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) is questioning Government’s sudden decision to scrap a previous proposal – largely centred on establishing a new three-lane, open format bridge as a replacement for the Demerara Harbour Bridge (DHB) – in favour of a four-lane, fixed high-level bridge.General Secretary of the party, Bharrat Jagdeo told a media conference on Thursday that not only is the idea going against the feasibility study that was done for the new crossing, but the coalition Government’s approach to the initiative is ill-conceived and will only serve as a huge burden to Guyana.“This is ill-conceived and will leave us with a huge burden in the future,” he said, while explaining that he is not against the four-lane design, but the approach byOpposition Leader Bharrat JagdeoGovernment is a major cause for worry.He also reminded that the feasibility study deemed a four-lane initiative unfeasible. “If you’re going for a four-lane fixed bridge. We don’t have a problem, but the three-lane study said only the three-lane bridge was feasible. Their own study says the four-lane is not feasible,” he pointed out.The former Head of State who has long criticised the Government for its approach to this project, stated this flip-flop attitude could only lead to chaos and disaster for the entire project. He recalled that he had advised that Government should not leave it up to the contractors to determine the future of the project.Jagdeo also recalled raising concerns over the fact that there was no money in the budget, no funding for the bridge and no grants or financing available for the construction of the bridge.“I said all of those things need to be pre-determined… I pointed out the Berbice Bridge. That there were about 2000 pages of studies… a prospectus was developed… legislation passed to support public private partnership… and only then did the company solicit bids… they [Government] didn’t do any of these things. They just said we’re putting out the tender, the contractors will tell us what they want,” he explained.Finance Minister Winston Jordan who made the announcement explained that several persons would have submitted proposals for various types of bridges. This is even though the feasibility study recommended a three-lane bridge. However, submissions were made for a four-lane fixed bridge.No policy directionOpposition Member of Parliament Juan Edghill has urged Government to come clean on the matter. The former junior Finance Minister has said he was surprised that Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson did not notify Guyanese about the project, especially based on its magnitude.Edghill also pointed out that Patterson’s last statement on this project was that three companies would be selected from the companies who bid, and they would be asked to submit proposals, including for financing the bridge. The Minister had also given a particular timeline.The MP slammed Government, stating that this is indicative of the fact that the coalition Government has no policy direction in the public infrastructure sector and that they are prone to making ad hoc decisions. He was here referring to the Guyana Power and Light’s $3 billion tender for the installation of smart meters and transmission lines which Government annulled a few months ago.Last year, a feasibility study and design for the new Demerara River Bridge had reportedly cost some $146.3 million. It was presented to Minister within the Public Infrastructure Ministry, Annette Ferguson.The 57-page final report was done by Dutch company LievenseCSO. The project team had included officials from the Demerara Harbour Bridge Corporation and Transport and Harbours Department.It is understood that the feasibility study had determined the proposed location of Houston-Versailles as the most ideal. It is also understood that a low-level bridge with a movable part and three-lanes was recommended for construction.Another study had been completed back in 2013, when the Demerara Harbour Bridge Corporation had collaborated with the then Public Works Ministry to carry out a pre-feasibility analysis. That study had concluded that a ‘fixed, high-level’ bridge was the best option to pursue, rather than the retractable model, echoing the most recent recommendations made by Consultant Rameshwar.The “fixed, high-level” option would ensure that traffic would be able to flow even while boats passed underneath the structure. The bridge presently operates according to schedule in order to cater for marine traffic.There have traditionally been lengthy traffic lines during rush hour, as motorists hurry to catch the bridge before it closes. It was to solve these traffic woes and to cater for the advanced age of the Demerara Harbour Bridge structure that a new bridge has been contemplated.According to the 2013 report, consultations were carried out with various Private Sector agencies and non-governmental organisations representing cross sections of the production and manufacturing sectors in Guyana. Those consultations, the report detailed, were to obtain valuable data to complete the report, introduce stakeholders to the new Demerara River crossing concept, and garner feedback that could potentially influence the project.last_img read more

Dave Callum wins championship flight at Links Open

first_imgWinner: Josh Krueger – 152Runner-Up: Percy Peterkin – 163Second Flight:Winner: Dallas Jehn – 167Runner-Up: Bud Palfy – 174Third Flight:Winner: Reg Marquardt – 176Runner-Up: Jarod Lang – 182Ladies Flight:Winner: Pam Lebeau – 186Runner-Up: Val Unrau – 186Pam Lebeau after wining the ladies division of the Links Open. Photo by Jeff Holland.Advertisement FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John Links held their Links Open last weekend.The golf tournament saw a total of 64 residents fight through a rain delay to play 36 holes of golf over a two-day span.Dave Callum was the most resilient at battling the rain as he was the winner of the championship flight.- Advertisement -Results for the Links Open are shown below:Championship Flight:Winner: Dave Callum – 145Runner-Up: Terry Duffy – 156First Flight:Advertisementlast_img read more

1 dead, 3 critical in Essequibo River boat mishap

first_imgOne person is now dead and three others are in a critical condition following a boat mishap in the Essequibo River on Monday evening.Reports are at about 19:00h two boats that were travelling on the Essequibo River collided head-on.According to information reaching this newspaper, one of the boats was heading in the direction of Buck Hall, Essequibo River, while the other in the opposite direction.Following the collision, the four passengers, who were severely injured, were picked up and rushed to the Leonora Cottage Hospital where an unidentified female was pronounced dead on arrival. Another was transferred to the West Demerara Regional Hospital as a result of the extent of her injuries while two others remain at the Leonora Cottage Hospital. This publication was told that a search party has since been dispatched to look for others who are still missing. (Leah Hernandez)last_img read more

Federal Government announces $4.7 million in funding for improvements to Swanson Lumber Road and Hwy 97 intersection

first_imgMore information on Federal Investments in B.C. can be found on the Government of Canada’s website. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Federal Government announced on Wednesday that British Columbia will receive funding for improvements to the provincial and national highway systems.Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Rural Economic Development, announced that the Government of Canada will be funding over $185 million dollars for six important projects.One of the projects to receive funding is for intersection improvements to Highway 97 and Swanson Lumber Road.- Advertisement -$4.7 million dollars in funding will be used to construct a signalized T-intersection where Swanson Lumber Road converges with Highway 97.The funding will also be used for additional lane improvements to accommodate the newly constructed intersection.This financial support comes from the New Building Canada Fund and the Provincial-Territorial Infrastructure Component.Advertisementlast_img read more

Transfer rumours latest! Get the gossip on Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool

first_img1 Listen again to today’s Paper Review Here’s the top transfer-related stories in Saturday’s newspapers…Tottenham Hotspur want to sign central defender Toby Alderweireld, 26, on loan at Southampton from Atletico Madrid, after missing out on Winston Reid. (Daily Telegraph) Right-back Bacary Sagna, 32, is considering his future at Manchester City, just nine months after moving to the Etihad Stadium from Arsenal, and Italian club Roma are interested in signing him. (Daily Mirror) Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba, 21, has agreed to join Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the season, despite interest from Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea. (Daily Star) Liverpool will attempt to sign Real Madrid midfielder Lucas Vazquez, 23 – currently on loan at Espanyol – in the summer. (Daily Express) Former Germany centre back Per Mertesacker, 30, is playing for his future at Arsenal with manager Arsène Wenger weighing up whether to make an end-of-season move for another defender. (Daily Telegraph) Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has been impressed by Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez and Spurs are ready to make a £7m move for the 24-year-old. (The Sun) Chelsea have offered defender Branislav Ivanovic, 31, a £90,000-a-week deal in line with the club’s policy of only giving players over 30 one-year contracts. (Daily Express)And here are the latest talkSPORT.com transfer tales…Arsenal and Tottenham set for transfer tussle over Dutch starletPSG defender’s future unclear amid interest from Manchester United and NewcastleReal Madrid keen to re-sign Arsenal and Liverpool target Alvaro MorataTottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has outcast trio in planslast_img read more