Gov’t anticipates Cemetery Road completion before year end – Min. Edghill

Despite several setbacks, works on the much-anticipated Cemetery Road project are moving along, and the government anticipates the thoroughfare will be completed before year end.

Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill, made the disclosure during the 65th sitting of the National Assembly on Thursday. He was at the time responding to a question posed by Opposition Member of Parliament, Annette Ferguson.

Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill during his address in parliament

Minister Edghill said the undertaking forms part of a series of developmental projects taking place in Georgetown as part of the modernisation efforts.

Some of these projects include the developments at Independence Boulevard, the widening of the Aubrey Barker Road, the beautification of the Lamaha Corridor, and the widening of the carriageway from Conversation Tree to Dennis Street, among other projects totalling in excess of $6 billion.

“This project has had some snags. It was supposed to be completed on July 19. This project started on time, but the contractor has had to change several teams.”

Minister Edghill explained that another cause for delay was adverse weather conditions.

“All of us would have seen and known that the drains in the Cemetery Road alignment have been consistently flooded, and waters from the burial ground have been coming in. We have sought some engineering interventions about where to dispose of the water. They have tried several different avenues,” he said.

The minister disclosed that significant progress is being made along this alignment, assuring that the government is committed to delivering to the people.

“The engineers as well as the contractor have been engaging, and I was made aware that the contractor has been instructed to speed up the project, and the ministry has indicated that it has no objections to subcontracting elements of the project, since there are also two bridges and two culverts to be built. We are anticipating that before the end of this year, the entire project should be fulfilled,” the public works minister stated.

Further, the extensive works also include the removal of electrical poles and wires along the stretch, which is being undertaken by the Guyana Power and Light (GPL), and is scheduled to be completed in August, in a manner that should minimise power interruptions in the area. The contract for upgrades to Cemetery Road was signed in July 2022 to the tune of $475 million. The project includes the expansion of the existing two-lane carriageway into four lanes, with a pedestrian lane in the centre for enhanced safety.