The Public Infrastructure Ministry is holding onto hopes of completing the four-lane East Coast Demerara (ECD) road expansion by September 2019; assuring that a supervisory firm is on site ensuring ethical and environmental standards are maintained.Acknowledging the concerns, the Ministry pointed out that much of the work for the four-lane section will be completed by December 2018. The Ministry revealed that a safety and environment audit was done only a few days ago.There, it was noted that pressing issues affecting residents were logged. In addition, the contractor was given a one-week deadline to remedy them… though they did not say exactly what these issues were.It was explained, however, that the problem of dust was tackled through the introduction of three water trucks. These trucks are charged with wetting the road seven times per day, a popular tactic to prevent dust pollution.The Ministry noted that another intervention involved the use of flagmen to regulate the flow of traffic. It was related that more are being trained. Claims that traffic involves two-hour waits were denied by the Ministry, who claimed that the maximum commuters have to wait is 20 minutes.“One of the interventions which has been implemented is for more trained flagmen to be used to regulate the flow of traffic while materials are being offloaded on site. Thus, trucks will not offload materials during the peak period in the mornings and afternoons. The Ministry is not cognisant of the fact that drivers are waiting more than two hours in traffic. We are aware of commuters having to wait 15 to 20 minutes the most.”“The speed limit in the construction zone is 20km per hour, which should be understandable since major road works are being done. Therefore, in order to have commuters out of the construction zone as quickly as possible and to alleviate the build-up in traffic, the contractor has begun training more flagmen.”Meanwhile, it was revealed that an international consultant, Sheladia Associates, was contracted to supervise the project. Approximately 20 specialised technicians, according to the Ministry, are on site on a daily basis to monitor the works.The defects liability period – once the US$50 million project is completed – will be one year. The project was awarded to China Railway First Group Company, after Guyana received a US$45 million concessional loan from the China EXIM bank to finance it.This component of the project entails a total length of 16.998 kilometres of roads and 33.996 kilometres of drains to be built. It also includes the construction of seven bridges and the extension of 12 culverts. A median along with streetlights will be placed in the centre of the four lanes.As of August, it was explained that the bridges were approximately 35 per cent complete, with works having commenced on four of them; and of the 12 culverts, works are being carried out on the fourth culvert, which brings this aspect of the works to about 25 per cent completed.The concrete drains were about 90 per cent completed, while the revetment and retaining walls – a total of 190 metres primarily at the Triumph Sluice – were about 60 per cent completed. With regards to the road work, 95 per cent of the extension was completed.