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MARAD mulls licensing more passenger boats for Wales-to-Diamond crossing

Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 July 2023, 16:01 by Denis Chabrol

The boat landing at Diamond, East Bank Demerara.

Guyana’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) would be licensing more passenger boats to ply the Wales- Diamond route depending on demand for the service after the Demerara Harbour Bridge resumes operation, the agency’s Director-General Stephen Thomas said Wednesday.

In preparation for major repairs to the bridge this week, government upgraded the foot-paths and constructed new, sturdy boat landings at Wales, West Bank Demerara and Diamond, East Bank Demerara. MARAD has also deployed temporary monitors.

Mr Thomas said already the lone boat that normally serves that route unofficially has been licensed. He said if more persons opt to cross Wales-t0-Diamond MARAD would approve more passenger vessels for that route. “We have short term and long term so ultimately, it’s going to be determined as the traffic warrants but we have one licensed thus far,” he said.

Mr Thomas said there was no time frame within which more boats would be given the green light to shuttle passengers there across the Demerara River.

Unofficially, Demerara Waves Online News has been informed that up to four vessels could be approved to serve that route.

Temporarily, due to the replacement of span 9 of the Demerara Harbour Bridge, MARAD approved more vessels to operate Wales-Diamond.

The boat landing at Wales, West Bank Demerara.

General Manager of the Demerara Harbour Bridge, Wayne Watson told Demerara Waves Online News that an estimated GY$1 billion has been allocated for rehabilitation of that vital east-west corridor. He said GY$85 million would be spent on fixing the high span, and GY$60 million on span 12 to 29 and span 39 to 61.

Public Works Minister Juan Edghill on Tuesday said span 9 was replaced because it was “cracking and breaking” because of heavy weight and that was worsened after a vessel,  after a vessel, MV Tradewind Passion, slammed into the structure last October.

Demerara Harbour Bridge claims totalling more than GY$1 billion are still before the court. The vessel has been released.

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July 2023