Government signs loan agreement with Bank of China for advancement of construction of historic New Demerara River Bridge

-Finance Minister announces

Georgetown, Ministry of Finance, December 30, 2022: In tandem with Government’s aggressive and transformative transport infrastructure plans for the country, Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance Dr. Ashni Singh today announced that Government had today completed the electronic signing of the loan agreement with the Bank of China for 160.8 Million Euros for the advancement of the construction of the New Demerara River Bridge. It can be recalled that in May this year, Government signed the US$260M contract for the major new Bridge as part of its plans to expand and modernize Guyana’s transport infrastructure, and significantly reduce the traffic woes on the East Bank of Demerara. The project, which has been long in the making by the PPP/C Administration, was awarded to the Joint Venture of China Railway Construction Corporation (International) Limited, China Railway Construction (Caribbean) Co., Ltd & China Railway Construction Bridge Engineering Bureau Group Co., Ltd.

The hybrid designed bridge will feature a modern four-lane structure (two carriageways), cycle lane, with a 2.65 kilometers length, driving surface of about 23.6 meters or 77.8 feet and will have a lifespan of some 100 years. The Demerara Harbour Bridge is also a vital linkage for the transport of agricultural goods from Regions 2 and 3 into Regions 4 and beyond. Therefore, easier and more efficient transport links will support agricultural development and food security for Guyanese.

The current Demerara Harbour Bridge is over 40 years old and connects the East Bank at Peters Hall with the West Bank at MeerZorgen, an estimate of 40,000 to 45,000 people and over 20,000 vehicles each day (11,000 per direction).

The new Demerara Harbour Bridge is a critical component of the Government’s drive to expand and modernize Guyana’s transport infrastructure and will address the challenges faced by users of the current bridge by providing safe, efficient, and effective crossing. It will offer easy connectivity to both the existing East Bank Demerara road as well as the new Diamond to Eccles bypass, the existing West Bank Demerara road, and the new Parika to Schoonord road. The new bridge will transform the face of transportation between Regions 3 and 4 and further regions. The new high span, four lane bridge will facilitate the smooth flow of traffic without congestion and delays.

The bridge is also a key strategic investment as economic activity on both sides of the Demerara expands rapidly, with developments on the horizon, such as new and expanded shore bases, a massive gas-to-power project and other industrial activities, alongside growth in more traditional sectors such as housing, construction, and services such as tourism. The bridge will play a significant role in accommodating and propelling economic growth.

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