Multimillion dollar road works in Mabaruma progressing
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DPI, GUYANA, Monday, February 19, 2018
After several years of calls regarding the deplorable road conditions in Mabaruma, residents are finally breathing a sigh of relief as extensive road works in the district progresses.
Phase One of concrete works on a single lane of the Mabaruma Compound road is currently ongoing. This multimillion project entails the installation of approximately 3,500ft of concrete roads or rigid pavements and drains within the community of Mabaruma.
Hinterland Engineer, Jeffrey Walcott told the Department of Public Information (DPI) that the venture, which commenced this year, is an extension of a 2017 project. He noted that similar to last year’s plan, contractors are constructing rigid pavements since they are more durable.
“We continue to construct rigid pavement designs because we found that it is working a lot better than the asphalt and the double bituminous surface treatment (DBST) roads. The roads in Mabaruma … have been neglected for a long time so this is a complete makeover with a structure that will be around for another 25 to 30 years.”
The $110.2M contract for this project was awarded to Mohammed Ramzanalli Khan Construction and is 30 percent complete. Other developmental works slated for the region, this year, include the upgrade of the existing bridge that leads into Kumaka road to a more robust concrete structure and much-needed renovation to the Barabina Swamp road.
The Hinterland Engineer pointed out that the unpredictable weather pattern is delaying the works. He noted that in addition to inclement weather, there are usually other unforeseen challenges which may be encountered during the execution of hinterland projects; significantly delaying them.
“For instance, in Mabaruma, the topography is similar to Regions Seven and Eight because you have to deal with lots of hills. But the challenges we deal with are drainage issues, roads running at the side of hills, utilities to relocate and removing people’s property depending on the actual alignment.”
Walcott further added, “one of the other things is getting materials here because almost everything except for maybe laterite comes out of the region via the Atlantic Ocean. The region doesn’t have a quarry and sand is important for the project. So if the contractor cannot get the materials on time it slows down the entire process.”
The Hinterland Engineer noted that amidst the challenges, the work must progress in order to fulfill the government’s commitment to improved infrastructure. Walcott emphasised that understanding and embracing these dynamics is fundamental to the success of projects like these.
Meanwhile, upgrades on the Kumaka Junction to the Waterfront area and the Mabaruma main road leading to the airstrip road were completed last year.
Region One Engineer, John Barth explained to DPI that “the airstrip to the township road is 950 meters long by 20 feet or 6.1 meters wide to the tune of approximately $82M and the Kumaka junction to the waterfront area was 750 meters for about $67M”.
The 2018 National Budget provides $1.5B for road rehabilitation in the hinterland regions as well as the completion of all roll over projects.
By: Ranetta La Fleur
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