…to commence before next high tideTemporary interventions that are currently being used to prevent the Atlantic waters from flooding villages along the West Coast of Demerara (WCD) will be fixed shortly, as four projects are currently underway for the construction of permanent riprap structures.A section of the area at Uitvlugt that was mended with bouldersThis was according to the Chief Sea and River Defence Officer, Kevin Samad, who noted that the projects were taken to the National Tender Board and are currently being reviewed to find potential contractors. He posited that by the final days in July, the contracts should be awarded for the commencement of the construction.“We have opened tenders on May 22 at the National Tender Board for these projects and at this point, the evaluation is still ongoing so I would say by next month, we expect to award them and possibly commence them by the end of July.”Three of the projects will see the construction of riprap structures at Leonora, Uitvlugt and Den Amstel, while the fourth is a bundle of drainage structures that will be rehabilitated.“We’ve had a temporary intervention which would entail placing some rocks for the critical section at Uitvlugt. The current status is that we went ahead with four projects on the West Coast for riprap works at Leonora behind the hospital, Uitvlugt, the Den Amstel area some other areas along the coast at Windsor Forest and Blankenburg where we have the sluices and drainage structures,” Samad noted.He added, “We are fortifying the sea defenses that join the sluices at La Jalousie, Blankenburg, Windsor Forest and Cornelia Ida. Pretty much what we’ve done is bundled all the sluices into one lot so we have four projects.”Samad also highlighted that the unit is pushing to commence the works at the earliest and as such, they will commence before the next spring tide during October-November.“It depends on the contractors that are successful with the necessary resources required and at this point, I wouldn’t be able to say which contractor will be going first. But with our timeline, we would want all the contractors to mobilise at least by July month-end to August before we have our next high tide in October-November.”Earlier this year, plans were announced to modify the sea defence structure by replacing it with a robust riprap structure to withstand the crashing waves and high tides that residents experience at various periods of the year. The areas mentioned were assessed after visits from Central and Local Government concluded that the structure required a new design to avoid any destruction in the future.This was a result of the many ruptures that were caused along the concrete structure that lined the coast during a high spring tide, causing devastation to many residents.Immediately, members of the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) were deployed to the varying areas, where sandbags were used to temporarily fill the open gaps. When the water retreated, the Public Infrastructure Ministry hired contractors to conduct temporary repairs by placing boulders along the gaps where sandbags were once used.However, these works were halted due to a shortage of the boulders for the completion of the ruptured sections of the seawall, which were later completed upon the attainment of the remaining boulders needed. Presently, this makeshift model is acting as the barrier to protect the people from the devastating waves.
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