Georgetown, Guyana—(January 05, 2024) His Excellency President Dr Irfaan Ali said that the construction of the new four-lane Mackenzie/Wismar Bridge would “create immense opportunities” for residents of Region 10 (Upper Demerara/Upper Berbice).

During his keynote address at today’s historic contract signing and sod turning ceremony for the US$35m bridge, the Head of State emphasised that the bridge is not a “stand-alone infrastructure” and connects to the greater development plans in place for the region and, by extension, the country. He explained that the new bridge will enable greater activities and massive opportunities for residents and enhance development and trade, especially with Brazil.

The President noted that traffic on the current bridge has almost doubled in the last three years, which is due mostly to the positive and attractive investment culture the Government is promoting to improve the livelihoods of all Guyanese.

The construction of the bridge between the Government of Guyana and the Chinese company, China Railway Construction Caribbean, brings the infrastructure project, which has been in conceptualisation for years, closer to realisation.

The new bridge will land some distance away from the original bridge built by the Demerara Bauxite Company from 1965 to 1967.

“This new bridge will be a four-lane precast bridge, 220 metres long. The bridge must be completed within two years and would carry all the road safety signs and lighting. It will have a maximum horizontal clearance of 32 metres and a vertical clearance of 11.5 metres,” President Ali disclosed.

The new bridge would be supported by a number of progressive plans in the region, including the expansion and development of land near the Berbice River to improve capacity and productivity.

Adding to this, the Government will soon launch a new phase of the Agriculture and Innovation Entrepreneurship Programme for 100 young people, at a cost of $200m.

Plans are also in the pipeline to construct 1,000 homes at Plantation York.

The President reminded that with the massive movement of vehicles from Georgetown to Lethem, systems are in place to make Region 10, the “mechanical and engineering hub and trade and logistics hub” for the country.

Several Ministers, including Minister of Public Works, the Honourable Juan Edghill; Chinese Ambassador to Guyana, HE Guo Haiyan; Opposition Members of Parliament; and Regional Chairman Deron Adams were also at the contract signing ceremony.