$303M Jungle highway nears completion

– former ATV track rehabilitated and expanded in Region 7

DPI, Guyana, Friday, June 28, 2019

Throughout the hinterland region, the restoration and rehabilitation of previously neglected roads have been high on the Coalition Government’s agenda. Recently, the road between Mile 33 to Mile 52 of the Bartica-Potaro road has undergone a massive transformation.

The construction of the $303M roadway within the jungle was no easy task. Hinterland Engineer within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Jeffrey Walcott highlighted the condition of the roadway prior to the rehabilitative works. “The easiest thing to move through was an ATV. There was not enough space for two vehicles to move comfortably through. [It was] 10 to 12feet in width [with a] heavy tree cover.”

Engineer Walcott explained that with the current works, the carriageway has been expanded 24-30feet and the roadway itself is approximately 100feet wide.

Laterite, a reddish clay material, is currently being stockpiled from a mine in St. Mary’s, Region 7 to be used on the road. At present, the highway is in the white sand, sand-clay phase.

The weather condition has been the main challenge during the project as with most roadworks done in the hinterland. Walcott noted, “currently the guys have stopped work because of the weather; it has been raining a lot right now.” Works are expected to resume as the rains cease.

As with all road infrastructural projects, maintenance is a topical issue. With this roadway within the jungle, maintenance works will be rolled out as of 2020, as the need arises.

The beginning of 2018 saw the miles long road being initiated as part of a broader objective to connect Bartica to Mahdia in Regions 7 and 8, respectively.  JR. Ranch Incorporated was awarded the contract for the project.

Images: Leon Leung

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