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Offline Flex

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Highways and Roadways in T&T Thread.
« on: April 15, 2015, 02:41:47 AM »
We can complete $7.4bn highway.
By Radhica Sookraj (Guardian)


OAS assures Govt

Although its parent company filed for bankruptcy protection two weeks ago, Brazilian construction firm OAS Construtora has told the T&T Government it is in good financial condition and will be able to complete the $7.4 billion Solomon Hochoy Highway Extension by May 2016.

An OAS team, including country superintendent Rodrigo Ventura and several board directors, met with Works Minister Dr Suruj Rambachan and National Infrastructure Development Company (Nidco) chairman Dr Carson Charles on Monday to discuss concerns about the project.

Charles later told reporters that contrary to claims made by Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley, he had no information that OAS was withholding payments to local contractors.

“If this is happening, we have received no reports. I will have to find out whether this is so,” Charles said.

He said that dozens of local contractors and suppliers were also providing goods and services to OAS, the main contractor on the billion-dollar highway project. Charles said OAS directors from Brazil flew to T&T last week to discuss the project.

“Despite constraints in Brazil, that is not preventing the company from doing work here. We understand that OAS’s parent company filed for bankruptcy protection, which is a provision whereby the court gives them protection to pay off their debts in an orderly fashion by selling assets. The protection order gives them time to satisfy all their creditors,” Charles said.

“OAS chairman and members of the board have informed us of how they plan to complete the work. The plan seems feasible and we are satisfied.

“We continue to pay them for such works they have undertaken. We took a loan so we have the money. OAS operations in Trinidad are continuing because our payments are up to date.”

Charles said OAS would give weekly updates to Nidco and the ministry on the progress of the highway construction.

“If you go on the site you will see works are still going on. They are busy working on the segment from St Mary’s Junction to Grant Road,” Charles said.

He said once the road was inspected and passed it would be opened later this month.

Rambachan said he asked OAS officials to ensure that all local contractors were paid and they assured him the company was making timely payments. He said if any contractor was having problems with payments they should make a report to Nidco, the supervisory agency.

Local contractors, including Kalco Limited, said yesterday that they were being paid on time.

“We are not sure if suppliers and other contractors are being affected,” a Kalco official said.

Sources told the T&T Guardian there had been delays in the past with payment of fees to some contractors, including Ansad Services Limited. A source at Namalco Construction Services also said the company ended its relationship with OAS in 2012 because of problems with payment of fees.

Rowley warning

At a political meeting last week, Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley had warned that the highway project was in trouble because Brazilian company OAS Grupo, OAS Construtora’s parent company, was in the midst of bankruptcy proceedings due to the corruption scandal it was currently embroiled in.

“Right now I could tell you that the accounts office there is without any local input. Only Brazilians inside there operating with a satellite to a bankrupt company in Brazil and of course, the local contractors who have been working for them are now in great danger because they are not being paid and they are hoping that this will remain silent until after election.”

Earlier this month, Grupo OAS sought bankruptcy protection following a corruption scandal involving one of its biggest customers, state-owned energy company Petrobras. The company filed for court protection to renegotiate its debts with creditors and suppliers because its access to finance has been severely restricted since the end of last year.

OAS executives, along with officials from some of Brazil’s largest construction firms, have been charged with money laundering, corruption and criminal conspiracy in an alleged kickback and bribe scandal at Petrobras.

« Last Edit: April 21, 2015, 02:08:56 AM by Flex »
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Offline fishs

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Re: We can complete $7.4bn highway.
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2015, 07:23:02 PM »
 This is a stupid move. Most contracts will allow the client to terminate the contract when the contractor files for bankruptcy.

The quality of the product will start to deteriorate as the contractor tries to maximise on margins eventually leaving a mess that the client will have no recourse from. No liquidated damages will be applicable if they are legally bankrupt.

They should rethink this and break the project up into packages and go back out to tender.
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Offline Flex

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Re: Highways and Roadways in T&T Thread.
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2015, 02:09:29 AM »
KAMLA: Causeway for Chaguaramas
By Joel Julien (Express).


IF the People's Partnership is re-elected into office for a second successive term after this year's general election, a roadway will be constructed over the water from Port of Spain to Chaguaramas, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has announced.

Persad-Bissessar made the announcement as she delivered the feature address at the United National Congress (UNC) Monday Night Forum held at the Fyzabad Secondary School last night.

Persad-Bissessar said Planning Minister Dr Bhoe Tewarie has been working on the construction of the Chaguaramas Boardwalk, which she labelled as "one of the most inspiring" projects for Trinidad and Tobago.

"Our Cabinet has already agreed we will partner with the Canadian government to look into the feasibility of building a causeway from Port of Spain right down to Chaguaramas," Persad-Bissessar said.

"We will look at the causeway, we will build it...you know I was in Panama recently and I saw the causeway running across the water skipping all the major traffic and just getting from place to place with cut-off points along the way.

"We will, with your help, in our second term build the first-ever causeway in Trinidad and Tobago in the North-West peninsula," she stated.

In addition to the causeway, Persad-Bissessar said the construction of the highway from Point Fortin to San Fernando will continue and another highway will be constucted from San Fernando to Mayaro.

"I give you the assurance tonight that the Partnership Government post-election 2015, should we form the Government, we will build the San Fernando to Mayaro highway in that term," Persad-Bissessar said.

On Wednesday, Persad-Bissessar will be celebrating her 63rd birthday.

On that day, chief executive officer of Royal Dutch Shell Ben Van Beurden is scheduled to arrive in Trinidad.

It is Van Beurden's first visit to the Western Hemisphere since the anouncement of a US$70 billion merger between Shell and British Gas two weeks ago.

Persad-Bissessar said the expected arrival of Van Beurden was evidence that there is no truth to claims that this country is facing an "energy crisis".

"In less than 12 hours of that announcement (of the merger) a letter was delivered to me from the CEO of Royal Dutch Shell, Ben Van Beurden, in which he said that Shell is committed to partnering and investing in Trinidad and Tobago," Persad-Bissessar told the crowd in Fyzabad.

"So what crisis? What crisis in the energy sector? When it is Royal Dutch Shell will be coming into our energy sector, will be investing. And remember he is one of the most powerful CEOs in the world. He wrote to us and said he was committed to partnering and investing in Trinidad and Tobago.”

Persad-Bissessar said in addition to the arrival of Van Beurden, a US$1 billion investment will be made in this country following a contract between the Energy Ministry, National Gas Company (NGC) and Mitsubishi, to be established in La Brea.

"Again, where is the crisis, where you have such a large company signing to make an investment of over $6 billion in Trinidad and Tobago. And guess what, for you here tonight in Fyzabad, all of you in the South-West peninsula, that project is going to be in the La Brea Industrial Estate," she said.

Persad-Bissessar said this will equate to 2,000 construction jobs.

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Offline Deeks

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Re: Highways and Roadways in T&T Thread.
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2015, 05:41:30 AM »
Rapid Rail more important!

Offline rotatopoti3

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Re: Highways and Roadways in T&T Thread.
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2015, 06:09:54 AM »

Chief executive officer of Royal Dutch Shell Ben Van Beurden only make €24.2 million for 2014
Ah say it, how ah see it

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Re: Highways and Roadways in T&T Thread.
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2015, 09:31:07 AM »

Chief executive officer of Royal Dutch Shell Ben Van Beurden only make €24.2 million for 2014

Rotato, explain what you meant by "only make 24.2 mill for 2014"

Offline Sando prince

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Re: Highways and Roadways in T&T Thread.
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2015, 10:53:58 AM »
The PM is not thinking. A roadway over the water from POS to Chaguaramas will not help ease traffic. Traffic will remain the same!  One of the benefits of the rapid rail will help ease traffic as less people will feel the need to use their vehicles on the road. T&T has more than 700, 000 vehicles on the road at the moment.

I support the rapid rail. Once the rapid rail is implemented as another avenue for transportation there will be less cars on the road and less traffic.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2015, 10:55:35 AM by Sando prince »

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Re: Highways and Roadways in T&T Thread.
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2015, 11:03:14 AM »
less cars on the road and less traffic.

At least at the peak hours.  But I see taxi drivers and the car dealers who import cars as the major stumbling blocks to RR.

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Re: Highways and Roadways in T&T Thread.
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2015, 11:05:51 AM »
PNM's proposal to alleviate our daily transportation woes. I support this.

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Offline Bourbon

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Re: Highways and Roadways in T&T Thread.
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2015, 11:31:00 AM »
Another route is needed out of Chaguaramas. A few weeks ago...I spent 6 hours in stand still traffic for little to no reason. But I think I've heard this causeway plan before..... ::)


There is no way the rate of building roads would keep pace with the rate at which cars come on the roads. Some years ago in school I read a study on Singapore's traffic management plan. The guiding principle was that you make public transportation convenient and readily available at all times while making having or driving your own car inconvenient.

So while the "causeway" would be a good idea, especially with that outlay needed to build it, I'd be in favor of it being a route that has a toll applied to it. One can encourage a park and ride system as well, but just building it wouldnt be as effective as it could be.

The rapid rail is a good idea in principle but the question is what happens to the maxis and taxis that ply the existing routes. Are the rails going to follow existing routes? I'd especially see this being applicable along the East West Corridor and Sando/POS.  And probably in tandem with an expanded water taxi to Sando from Point Fortin.
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Offline Deeks

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Re: Highways and Roadways in T&T Thread.
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2015, 03:37:11 PM »
It is obvious that taxi will have to adjust with the RR. They will, hopefully, be the feeder service to the trains. All these cars will not be heading to town to drop off people. POS is a bottleneck. Both the causeway and RR are some expensive projects., though. I see the RR are being able to serve the EW and NS corridors. Sando, Central, Grande, Arima, the Piarco airport. The causeway wil serve just that small area in the north west peninsula. I am not against it, but nationwide public transport is badly needed.

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Re: Highways and Roadways in T&T Thread.
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2015, 04:37:28 PM »
Many countries automatically increase tax on petrol (gas) each year in their budget. This creates a culture of only using cars when necessary. People learn to car pool and there is an increased demand for public transport.

In T&T, part of the cost of Rapid Rail could be recovered through reducing the gas subsidy. Incentives for newer maxis could be introduced and regulations introduced to test cars roadworthyness each year, to remove old, unsafe vehicles from the roads. Only licensed taxis should be allowed, painted in distinctive colours like maxis or New York or London cabs. (Yes, I know many people rely on this income, but many unlicensed "taxis" are not particularly safe.)

It would take some tough measures to reduce the number of cars on our roads, but unless we do something soon, we will face constant gridlock.

We MUST have a rail system and PTSC must be run as a business instead of a government charity. If you owned a bus company and the T&T national team were playing at Ato Boldon, first thing you would do would be to announce shuttles from Couva & Chaguanas to and from the game. PTSC are not in the business of business!!

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Re: Highways and Roadways in T&T Thread.
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2015, 06:54:34 PM »
I drive from Arima to Port of Spain everyday and i work downtown, if there is a reliable train service available I will probably go from 5 to 1 day a week driving once the weather is good.

Longer lifespan for my car, i won't hesitate to buy property further east or south given the ease of commute.

This cannot come fast enough.
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Offline fishs

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Re: Highways and Roadways in T&T Thread.
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2015, 01:46:27 AM »

 A rail system is for now the only solution.
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Re: Highways and Roadways in T&T Thread.
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2015, 05:40:42 AM »
Chief executive officer of Royal Dutch Shell Ben Van Beurden only make €24.2 million for 2014

Daiz alot of bread Deeks....
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Re: Highways and Roadways in T&T Thread.
« Reply #15 on: April 22, 2015, 05:47:04 AM »
Chief executive officer of Royal Dutch Shell Ben Van Beurden only make €24.2 million for 2014

Daiz alot of bread Deeks....

Breds, I did not realize the sacarsm. Yes indeed, that is a lot of dough! man 24 mill!!!!!

Offline weary1969

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Re: Highways and Roadways in T&T Thread.
« Reply #16 on: April 22, 2015, 08:25:21 AM »
I drive from Arima to Port of Spain everyday and i work downtown, if there is a reliable train service available I will probably go from 5 to 1 day a week driving once the weather is good.

Longer lifespan for my car, i won't hesitate to buy property further east or south given the ease of commute.

This cannot come fast enough.

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Re: Highways and Roadways in T&T Thread.
« Reply #17 on: April 22, 2015, 05:19:08 PM »
Many European countries automatically increase tax on petrol (gas) each year in their budget.

Fixed it for you.

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Re: Highways and Roadways in T&T Thread.
« Reply #18 on: April 22, 2015, 07:14:22 PM »
Many European countries automatically increase tax on petrol (gas) each year in their budget.

Fixed it for you.

 This has to be a real gradual thing (removing the subsidy). I remember the last time diesel was increased by 10% everything in Trinidad went up by 10 to 15%.
The distributers and manufacturers claimed a knock on effect from an increased cost in transport and passed it on to the public.

Now we have a little more competition in the marklet place but there are still big commodity controllers.
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Offline Trini1

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Re: Highways and Roadways in T&T Thread.
« Reply #19 on: April 23, 2015, 08:54:41 AM »
It clearly cost them a great deal with the feasibility study so I know the present government is not going to go down that route but then again the opposition is saying that they will go forward with it if they regain power etc... but I don't see much else they can do other than to build a rail system to alleviate the congestion that is presently being experienced on the E/W corridor.

The PBR is jam packed so I'm not sure if buying more CNG buses is going to help if that's the option they are proposing.

Just my 2cents... If rapid rail was too costly then look into a light rail or possibly a light to medium capacity at grade metro system. For the metro it could be elevated at points along the route where it would be costly to acquire land.

Focus should be placed on the the EW corridor then MAYBE in the future the N/S. For now they can make do with the water taxi system as their alternative mode of transportation. If another pier is put up in central then buses and maxi's could feed passengers to those the terminals in south, central and town.


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Re: Highways and Roadways in T&T Thread.
« Reply #20 on: April 23, 2015, 09:54:23 AM »
It's all about improving the flow of traffic/people along the entire corridor. Upgrading the CRH to a full grade separated freeway is all well and good and I applaud it but building more roads will not solve the problem either. There needs to be an increase in the use of a safe and efficient public transit system. That option must be available to the people if there is to be a decrease in car ridership.

I've seen mentioned in a newspaper a comparison by minister Cadiz with New York which is outrageous. A better comparison would be with Lausanne, Switzerland which has a population of ~ 300,000 and has a metro system or Rennes, France. Still a tricky comparison but much better in terms of scale. I believe the E/W has a population of ~ 600,000-700,000 so that's a good amount of people and if we could get at least 50% train ridership that could make a difference.

Buses could be used both on the PBR and separately to shuttle passengers to nearby stations in local communities.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2015, 07:24:10 AM by Trini1 »

Offline Deeks

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Re: Highways and Roadways in T&T Thread.
« Reply #21 on: April 24, 2015, 04:28:34 AM »
It's all about improving the flow of traffic/people along the entire corridor. Upgrading the CRH to a full grade separated freeway is all well and good and I applaud it but building more roads will not solve the problem either. There needs to be an increase in the use of a safe and efficient public transit system. That option must be available to the people if there is to be a decrease in car ridership.

I've seen mentioned in the a newspaper a comparison by minister Cadiz with New York which is outrageous. A better comparison would be with Lausanne, Switzerland which has a population of ~ 300,000 and has a metro system or Rennes, France. Still a tricky comparison but much better in terms of scale. I believe the E/W has a population of ~ 600,000-700,000 so that's a good amount of people and if we could get at least 50% train ridership that could make a difference.

Buses could be used both on the PBR and separately to shuttle passengers to nearby stations in local communities.

Breds, you too smart for your own good!

Offline Trini1

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Re: Highways and Roadways in T&T Thread.
« Reply #22 on: April 24, 2015, 07:56:50 AM »
Lol Deeks I sorta like transportation too much.

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Re: Highways and Roadways in T&T Thread.
« Reply #23 on: April 24, 2015, 09:29:16 AM »
Lol Deeks I sorta like transportation too much.

I see that. I myself have this love for trains. I live part of by boyhood in St.Joseph, Tunapuna and Five Rivers. I talking about the 60s. So we used the train on the EW corridor regularly. People used to take the train for granted. Lots of people did not used to pay. As this was more a communter rail than metro, people used to dodge the ticket guards to avoid paying. The TTR was losing money big time. But the rail service was already winding down while the Brits were still at home.  Road transport was increasing. I was also told that the businesses that controlled the vehicular mode of transportation encouraged the then PNM govt to ditch the rail for bus and taxsi. Neal and Massey and Amalgamated  were the big assembly plants. It created employment for plenty mechanics, welders, painters, upholsterers, electricians. I worked at PTSC assembley plant tool room, before coming up to the states. Then came Trinity motors and Amars motor empire. Cars, Cars, cars. That is how it ended up like this.

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Re: Highways and Roadways in T&T Thread.
« Reply #24 on: April 25, 2015, 06:55:31 AM »
Lol Deeks I sorta like transportation too much.

I see that. I myself have this love for trains. I live part of by boyhood in St.Joseph, Tunapuna and Five Rivers. I talking about the 60s. So we used the train on the EW corridor regularly. People used to take the train for granted. Lots of people did not used to pay. As this was more a communter rail than metro, people used to dodge the ticket guards to avoid paying. The TTR was losing money big time. But the rail service was already winding down while the Brits were still at home.  Road transport was increasing. I was also told that the businesses that controlled the vehicular mode of transportation encouraged the then PNM govt to ditch the rail for bus and taxsi. Neal and Massey and Amalgamated  were the big assembly plants. It created employment for plenty mechanics, welders, painters, upholsterers, electricians. I worked at PTSC assembley plant tool room, before coming up to the states. Then came Trinity motors and Amars motor empire. Cars, Cars, cars. That is how it ended up like this.

That's that history right there. Really like to hear about that man. Just wonder what things would be like had the trains remained. I've looked at some of the videos on YouTube I didn't dream of being born yet lol.

That's one of the reasons I'm hoping PNM comes into power- to see if they keep to their word and build this thing. My only hope is that they continue building the highway down south.

Offline Trini1

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Re: Highways and Roadways in T&T Thread.
« Reply #25 on: April 25, 2015, 06:56:11 AM »
Lol Deeks I sorta like transportation too much.

I see that. I myself have this love for trains. I live part of by boyhood in St.Joseph, Tunapuna and Five Rivers. I talking about the 60s. So we used the train on the EW corridor regularly. People used to take the train for granted. Lots of people did not used to pay. As this was more a communter rail than metro, people used to dodge the ticket guards to avoid paying. The TTR was losing money big time. But the rail service was already winding down while the Brits were still at home.  Road transport was increasing. I was also told that the businesses that controlled the vehicular mode of transportation encouraged the then PNM govt to ditch the rail for bus and taxsi. Neal and Massey and Amalgamated  were the big assembly plants. It created employment for plenty mechanics, welders, painters, upholsterers, electricians. I worked at PTSC assembley plant tool room, before coming up to the states. Then came Trinity motors and Amars motor empire. Cars, Cars, cars. That is how it ended up like this.

That's that history right there. Really like to hear about that man. Just wonder what things would be like had the trains remained. I've looked at some of the videos on YouTube I didn't dream of being born yet lol.

That's one of the reasons I'm hoping PNM comes into power- to see if they keep to their word and build this thing. My only hope is that they continue building the highway down south.

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Re: Highways and Roadways in T&T Thread.
« Reply #26 on: April 25, 2015, 02:44:53 PM »
we had a train system and pnm took it away, so this is no new idea, the question is will they ever do it and talk is cheap...

if PP gets re elected they should build it or if the baliser boys and girls return, because the nation needs it and individual praise or praise for a certain party is not important, the citizens needed this a while ago...
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Re: Highways and Roadways in T&T Thread.
« Reply #27 on: April 25, 2015, 03:18:57 PM »
we had a train system and pnm took it away, so this is no new idea, the question is will they ever do it and talk is cheap...

if PP gets re elected they should build it or if the baliser boys and girls return, because the nation needs it and individual praise or praise for a certain party is not important, the citizens needed this a while ago...

You late. The PP already rejected the rapid rail proposal and said they will not implement rapid rail.

Rapid rail was in the PNM 2010 manifesto

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Re: Highways and Roadways in T&T Thread.
« Reply #28 on: June 14, 2015, 07:39:49 AM »
Vinci/Lutchmeesingh to share $400m Curepe Interchange project
By Renuka Singh (Guardian)


The $400 million Curepe Interchange project is expected to start within the next 30 days, with Nidco choosing to jointly award the contract for the project to the two top bidders following a public falling out over the tendering process late last year.

Former junior minister in the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure Stacy Roopnarine had fallen out with her boss Dr Suruj Rambachan, after it was revealed then that local contractor, Lutchmeesingh Transport Company had been selected for the job though it ranked second in the tender screening process. It was revealed that first-ranked bidder Vinci Construction lost out because of its high costing for the mega-job.

The Sunday Guardian has since learned that though Lutchmeesingh was selected, Nidco-based engineers objected on the basis that the company’s tender contained several shortcomings.

However, in fresh developments, Nidco has decided to award the project jointly to the two top bidders. “We are currently in negotiations with the first and second bidder,” Nidco chairman Dr Carson Charles confirmed.

There is no word as to what prompted these fresh negotiations or who made the call to have the job shared between the two top-ranked bidders, but Charles confirmed that the project would be offered to both contractors, after months of the project being on hold and talks of quashing the bid and restarting the tender process.

Back in November, it was reported that the two top bidders had been rejected on the basis of price and expertise, respectively. Charles confirmed to the Sunday Guardian that Nidco’s engineering team had found that several major items were not catered for in the tender submitted by Lutchmeesingh, leading to Nidco overturning that company’s selection for the project previously.

Nidco had been reported then as weighing additional options to get the job done.

The tenure of Nidco’s board ended in December 2014 and left the future of the Curepe Interchange in limbo. Charles had said then that he expected the project to be finalised and awarded by January 2015 but, almost six months later, the project remained stalled.

“We could not come to an agreement with Vinci Construction based on the cost of its tender and with Lutchmeesingh, the negotiation committee was not convinced that they had the ability to complete the job,” Charles said.

“Quite frankly, there were three contractors selected and we were not satisfied with any.”

Despite Charles’ misgivings, the project is expected to come before the Nidco executive within the next month and awarded soon after.

“We are seeking to work out a solution so that we can use the specific expertise from both companies,” Charles said.

The project is expected to be completed 18 months after it begins.

Other projects

Key among the projects to be completed at a rapid rate is the now 50 per cent completed billion-dollar highway to Point Fortin. The Sunday Guardian has learned that Nidco is now in talks with all major road contractors, including Junior Sammy, Seereram Brothers and Lutchmeesingh, for them to work as a unit to complete the road works in conjunction with Brazil-based OAS Construction, which controls the project.

“So much is going on at Nidco,” Charles said.

“We are currently in talks with the major contractors in the country to sub-contract the work on the Point Fortin highway and complete that project by next year,” he said.

He said that Rambachan was expected to open a bridge in Claxton Bay today and has plans for another 20 bridges within the next few months.

Nidco has also started work on landslips around the country and has been given a five-year mandate to work on some 600 landslips, as well as several drainage projects under the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources.

Charles said another big project—the Diego Martin Interchange—was expected to be tabled soon.

“That project is currently at the design stage and is with the consultant,” Charles said.

Charles said Nidco was also at the execution stage of the Port-of-Spain flood alleviation project which has been funded by the Inter-American Development Bank for well over half-a-billion dollars.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.