Govt budgets $25.6B for roads, bridges

─$23.7 billion for roads, $1.9billion for bridges
─major corridors to be enhanced, created

Government has budgeted $25.6 billion to rehabilitate and construct roads and bridges under Budget 2021.

While presenting the budget to the National Assembly, Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Hon. Dr. Ashni Singh said $23.7 billion of the allocation is for roads, and $1.9 billion for bridges.

“This will see investments being made in upgrading a number of existing major roads and bridges, as well as initiating several new projects,” Dr. Singh stated.

Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Hon. Dr. Ashni Singh

The budget sets aside $3.5 billion for the construction of the Linden to Mabura Hill Road, with the tenders to be opened in the first quarter.

Additionally, $150 million is allocated to rehabilitate sections of the Linden-Soesdyke highway.

Along the East Bank Demerara corridor, Minister Singh announced a $1 billion allocation towards the construction of a four-lane highway from Eccles to Mandela Avenue.

Dr. Singh said the thoroughfare, “will significantly reduce travel time for tens of thousands of commuters traversing this corridor.”

Other major roadways in the pipeline include the link between the East Coast Demerara Highway and Timehri to connect the country’s two international airports, and a four-lane highway in Region Three between Parika and Schoonord.

Minister Singh added that the long-anticipated Parika to Goshen route will be enhanced to facilitate trade and commercial activities between Parika and Bartica.

Further, the Minister said Government intends to develop the link between Timehri and Bartica via a connection between Sand Hills on the West Bank Demerara and Makouria on the Essequibo River, crossing at Monkey Jump then to Bartica.

“These routes will be established with a survey alignment to be completed in 2021, and clearing of the right of way will commence while we pursue financing for construction works.”

Through the miscellaneous roads programme, Dr. Singh announced a $9 billion allocation with an investment of $2.1 billion to enhance hinterland roads.

Hunter Street roadworks

Concerning the building of the Demerara River Bridge, Minister Singh said the process has moved to the second stage.

“We have received proposals from a total of 20 companies. Nine firms have been shortlisted and the process now moves to the second round where more detailed designs, costing and financial terms will be assessed.

The new design of the high-span bridge will allow for free flow of maritime traffic as it will not require opening or retraction and will be built with a life span of at least 50 years,”

And for the bridge across the Corentyne River, the Minister said preparatory works are set to begin to bolster the thoroughfare from Moleson Creek to Eldorado with plans to further head to Orealla/Siparuta.

The $383.1 Billion budget for 2021 was presented under the theme: ‘A Path to Recovery, Economic Dynamism and Resilience’.

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