– site visit to CJIA conducted to determine readinessPublic Infrastructure Minister David Patterson has again expressed dissatisfaction with the slothful pace at which the Sherriff Street/Mandela Avenue Project is being executed. He said the contractors have been urged to accelerate the works.An artist’s impression of the CJIA, once completedThe works are pegged at a value of US$31.03 million, and the contract, spearheaded by Sinohydro Corporation Limited, was awarded since November, 2017.Patterson has said his worry is in relation to the impending May-June seasonal rainfall, which might have some negative impact on the works, if not completed by then.“The progress has been slow and somewhat disappointing. Last week, my ministry wrote to the principals of the company and asked them to send a senior representative to us to explain the slothful progress, because I’m very mindful of the May-June rains,” Patterson iterated.He said that a senior official of the company has met with officials of his ministry and other stakeholders, and these matters were raised. In response, the company has pledged to inject more resources towards a timely completion of the project.The Sherriff Street-Mandela Avenue project“We had frank discussions, and they have committed to present us with a revised programme of how they intend to up additional resources to ensure that they could speed up the work. We’ve committed to review that and, in three days, respond to them. Sinohydro has committed towards putting additional resources, crew and money to boost the work as fast as possible”, the minister explained.The two-year project, which will cover approximately seven kilometres of road, is being funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and involves the relocation of utilities; the installation of lane and shoulder improvements; placement of sidewalks and paved shoulders; traffic signals, traffic signs, streetlights, drainage; a pedestrian overhead walkway; culverts, bridges, and a roundabout.CJIAMeanwhile, in relation to the Cheddi Jagan International (CJIA) Airport Expansion Project, a visit to the facility was scheduled for last week, to conduct inspections to determine the readiness of the facility. So far, all indications are that the works have been completed, and now only final rectifications are to be made.“From what I understand, the entire place is opened up. We’re in the snag list period, and it is whereby any defects (and) rectifications are highlighted to the contractor, and he has to fix it at his own cost,” Patterson explained.Patterson mentioned that while the contract is valid for twelve months, modifications can be made to extend the contract for a maximum of two more years, should the work remain incomplete in that timeframe.“That’s a year, but the contract allows us to extend that for two further years, should it not be completed within that year,” he explained.Guyana, under the PPP Administration in 2012, had secured a US$138 million loan from the China Exim (Export-Import) Bank to fund the expansion and modernisation project, into which the Guyana Government has injected some US$12 million.However, when the coalition Government came in to power in 2015, the project was put on hold.Following discussions between the Public Infrastructure Ministry and the contracting company, China Harbour Engineering Corporation (CHEC), it was announced that the project would be continued, but with a reduction in its design and capacity.The new arrivals terminal, which became operational in September 2018, has already been commended by passengers. The outstanding work includes placement of hoardings (billboards) and striping of the runway (to reduce the risk of aircraft over-shooting the runway, or over-flying during take-off).Upon completion, the airport is expected to have four air passenger boarding bridges for arrivals and departures; a 450-seat Departure area, escalators and elevators in addition to an extended runway catering for larger categories of aircraft.