Gov’t starts first step of Bartica-Timehri road project

-road to slash travel time, expand opportunities
-Minister Edghill says project ‘doable’

The Government has started preliminary works to establish a new road corridor between Bartica and Timehri in keeping with a campaign promise.

On Wednesday, Minister of Public Works, Hon. Bishop Juan Edghill and a team of technical personnel inspected the proposed route for the road.  Former President and Prime Minister, Mr. Samuel as also part of the exercise.

Minister of Public Works, Hon. Bishop Juan Edghill

Speaking with DPI at the Timehri section of the proposed route, Minister Edghill said, “the possibility of a road from Bartica to Timehri is no longer an idea. It is something that is doable.”

The inspection of the route began with a short boat ride from Bartica to Foulmouth Dock on the Essequibo River, then along a logging trail to Makouria River, then to Sand Hills and Timehri.

Minister Edghill said the project would improve the commute between the coast and the hinterland, by significantly reducing travelling time, since commuters would no longer have to travel to Parika, then journey to Bartica, and vice versa.

Likewise, citizens will not have to travel to Linden, then on to Rockstone, through to Sherima Crossing for a barge, and then make their way to Bartica. Both routes are lengthy.

Former President and Prime Minister, Mr. Samuel Hinds

Minister Edghill said the project would complement a similar road link to be done from Bartica to Parika. That link will eventually see a network stretching from Parika to Goshen and onwards to Bartica.

The Minister added that the project also ties into other major infrastructural works such as the Schoonord to Parika alignment.

Like the other major roadworks, the Bartica-Timehri route will open up new lands, leading to an increase in agriculture, trade, housing and tourism opportunities.

The team along a section of the route

Explaining the path forward, Minister Edghill said, “we will go to the drawing board with the coordinates. We will look at all of the practicalities and of course, the shortest possible route is what we will be examining. We will probably have to get a geologist to do some soil testing to ensure that we have materials in the closest proximity for the building of that road.

I would suspect that within another five, six weeks after this trip, my engineers will be able to do some designing and the monies that are appropriated in 2021 will start cutting an alignment.”

Further, he said a process will begin to decide on the best option to facilitate barge crossings where the road terminates at both the Timehri and Bartica sections.

Meanwhile, Mr. Hinds played an instrumental role in Wednesday’s exercise since he has institutional knowledge of the route.

Mr. Hinds noted that the new road network is an important component of the Government’s development agenda.

The team along a section of the route

Development is a process that requires us to work at extending roads and infrastructure…This is a step, I think, a good step in the general development of our country.”

The Guyana Defence Force provided support during Wednesday’s exercise.

This year’s budget provides $25.6 billion for the construction of roads and bridges through the Ministry of Public Works.

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