Know Your Bridge
- The Berbice river bridge was designed by a European Consortium Bosch Rexroth B.V. and Mabey and Johnson at the cost US$38M.
- The bridge connects East Bank of Berbice at Crab Island to West Bank at D’Edward Village. The length of the bridge is 1.57km and it is a floating bridge. The bridge is also retracts once per day to facilitate marine traffic.
- The Bridge was opened for commercial operation in December 2008. The principal activity of the company is to operate the Berbice River Bridge as a toll bridge, securing revenue to cover all operating and maintaining costs, repayment of financing and debt servicing obligations.
- The Berbice Bridge Company Inc. (BBCI) plays the roll of collecting tolls and facilitating vehicles crossing the Berbice River Bridge and vessels transiting through the retractor opening and under the high span. The company also discharges its corporate responsibilities and, more importantly plays an integral part in the development of education, sports, while supporting national events and making donations to, charitable and non-charitable organizations in close proximity to the bridge, as well as region 5 and 6. The company has also sponsored events in other counties and as far as the hinterland.
In the past the Company has sponsored many events that benefited the communities both on the eastern and western sides of the Berbice River Bridge. For the year 2014 the Company received 118 Public Relations requests and has approved 95 of these requests. For the year 2014 the Company has so far received 120 Public Relations requests and has approved 106 of these requests The sponsorships includes: Mashramani 2014 Events, , sponsorship of horse racing events, sponsorship of spelling bee competitions, donations of trophies to various Non – profit and Educational Institutions and donations towards the less fortunate. The Company has also, facilitated tours of various schools and waivered toll charges for tour buses, sponsored cricket tournaments, supported religious organizations, donated hampers to different senior persons residing within the community, donated sports gears to Sports Clubs, financial donations to the Disable People’s Network Region No. 5 and 6 for various events, together with others too numerous to mention. Since the commencement of commercial operation of the Berbice Bridge Company Inc. (BBCI) on December 24, 2008 there has been a massive increase in the commercial and non-commercial activities in all sectors in East and West Berbice. Some of the major sectors are:
- Agriculture- increase activity in rice, aqua culture, diary, logging, mining, poultry, cash chops and other non-traditional crops etc.
- Construction- primary and secondary roads and bridges, business complexes, hotels, housing schemes (residential and non-residential), private hospitals, private schools and other educational institutions. The Berbice Bridge facilitates the transportation of all building materials sand, stone, cement, steel, concrete, bitumen and other services from region 5 and 6 and vice versa and to the country at large.
- The emergence of businesses – fast-food restaurants’ hardware and general stores, supermarkets, fuel station and marts, storage bonds/warehouses, auto sales, hotels, commercial banks and the establishment of numerous micro businesses.
- Enhanced tourism – Easy access to historical sites, beaches, resorts, Berbice expos, Horse racing, in particular has benefitted tremendously.
- Import/Export – Trade between Guyana and Suriname, movement of containerized and articulated trucks east to west and across the border, likely to further improve with a new bridge linking Guyana and Suriname in the near future.
- Governance – Allows government to improve all infrastructure development for education, recreation, health, housing and water and local NDC’s in both east and west Berbice.
Taking all this into consideration it is clearly evident that there will indeed be a steady growth in all categories of vehicles using the bridge, most notably for the frequent movement of construction materials and agricultural products across the bridge which will be charged as freight.