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Some contractors are making ‘ridiculous’ project bids, says Rowley

Trinidad Express / Residents of Covigne, Diego Martin now have access to a new bridge, built at a cost of just over $859,000. Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, accompanied by Minister of Rural Development and Local Government Kazim Hosein and officials from the Diego Martin Corporation formally opened the bridge during a ceremony yesterday. The new bridge links Covigne and Spaniol Roads, making it easier for motorists to traverse the area. The section the bridge now occupies was previoulsy a small footpath, not able to accommodate vehicular traffic. Rowley noted that the bridge was one of the projects specifically requested by members of the community. It was constructed over a six-week period, at a cost of $859,758.64. Speaking at the opening, Rowley said the bridge represented value for money as it was done at a cost much lower than it was approved for some three years ago. “It appears as though we have become so accustomed to millions that we couldn’t do anything under millions,” he said. But Rowley said the project went out for competitive bids and the lowest was selected. He said this was the process the government intends to follow for future projects. “Those who can do the work and give us the best price will be chosen and given the opportunity. A lot of contractors are responding by putting their best foot forward, resulting in some significant reductions in what we were accustomed to.” However he noted some contractors continue to make high and “ridiculous” bids. Hosein said the bridge improves accessibility in the area and bring added convenience to hundreds of residents. It is 6.5 metres long, 6 metres wide and 3.5 metres deep. Hosein said the Ministry received five bids and selected NV Marketing as the cheapest and most experienced among the bidders. He assured that residents would have a say in what projects they want to see in their communities in the future.

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