Over 1,000 roads to be rehabilitated countrywide

Contracts were signed which will see the rehabilitation of over 1,000 roads as the government presses the accelerator on the country’s infrastructural development.

Public Works Minister, Bishop Juan Edghill, made the disclosure during day two of the consideration of the 2023 budget estimates.

Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill on day two of the Consideration of Estimates

In the supplementary allocations for 2022, some $18.2 billion was provided under the Public Works Ministry for the provision of additional resources to facilitate the upgrading of roads and drains in various communities.

The roll-over amount for the continuance of these works is approximately $14.7 billion.

The miscellaneous roads programme will see communities in the ten administrative regions benefitting from improved roadways and drainage, and was intended to foster development on a community level.

Meanwhile, the minister highlighted that the budget provides for the construction of new office complexes on lands at Houston, Greater Georgetown.

These complexes are intended to increase efficiency by consolidating these government agencies into one location, thereby improving on the delivery of services.

“Our ministries and agencies are scattered in several buildings at different places. The intent, based on what we’re looking at, these office complexes should be able to accommodate about 6000 persons,” minister Edghill said.

The sum of $2.6 billion, which was approved in the 2022 budget, was paid to the contractor – Caribbean Green Building Inc – to be used as mobilisation advance for the office towers.

Along with these complexes, the budget provides for the construction of two buildings at Coldingen and Wakenaam.

Further, the minister shared that this year’s budget allocates for the rehabilitation and beautification of the Lamaha corridor to create a safe space for residents.

“I think every Guyanese who traverses the Lamaha embankment area will see the transformation that is taking place…that we are moving that corridor from a graveyard of old excavators, junk, old trucks and vessels, and we are doing it as part of the beautification of our urban rehabilitation and renewal programme.

“With Guyana going towards becoming a tourist destination, part of the vision of Lamaha street where the old train station was located, we intend to put in place an art gallery. We intend to be able to allow and facilitate local food…and we are rehabilitating and putting that at a prime tourist spot. The intent is that the old train and the engine that is there will be rehabilitated so that people will be able to go and see what the train used to look like,” the minister stated.

The creation of this safe space along the Lamaha stretch was conceptualised by His Excellency, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali.

New Demerara River Crossing

Meanwhile, in relation to the ongoing preparatory works on the construction of the new Demerara River Bridge, the Public Works minister said, “As it relates to land acquisition, the Ministry of Housing has successfully negotiated and handled all the properties that are in the path of the bridge, and we have no resistance from anyone not wanting to move,”

The company tasked with the construction of the new bridge is the China Railway Construction Company Limited (CRCCL).

The bridge will have a length of 2.65 kilometres, and will not require opening or retraction to allow for maritime traffic and will be built with a life span of at least 50 years.

Construction is expected to last two years.