Puruni-Itaballi road works underway, bridge repairs to commence soon
DPI, GUYANA, Thursday, October 5, 2017
Following a ‘firsthand’ assessment of the road works along the Puruni-Itaballi trail in Region Seven, Minister within the Ministry of Natural Resources Simona Broomes has promised to engage agencies and the Natural Resources Ministry on the possibility of fast-tracking the process.
The Minister stated that the “miners’ concerns are a priority” as a result the visit was made to ensure works are being done, and how it can be improved.
Minister Broomes led a team of engineers from the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), JR Construction Services and Mekdeci Mining Company (MMC). She explained that the Ministry of Public Infrastructure collaborated with the Ministry of Natural Resources to aid in the construction of the road since Itaballi is considered the gateway to the interior.
The contract for works on the trail was awarded to GGMC and Mekdeci Mining Company (MMC) for $89M. Repairs to the trail began some three weeks ago starting from Pappishou leading out to Puruni Landing; the next phase will then lead from Puruni to Itaballi.
Kevin Ramotar, Operational Manager of MMC explained that the team has been working on the road from Pappishou to Puruni, fixing critical points. He said the decision was made to proceed ‘in-and-come-out’ because the equipment is already in Papppishou, and due to the deteriorating state of the bridges, the company was hesitant to bring in heavy-duty equipment. Ramotar also noted that the company has considered having two teams working at different points, so as to fast-track works.
The Operations Manager also pointed out that a submission was made to the GGMC for an additional $12M since the evaluation was done in March, however, works commenced in September, and due to the weather and vehicular traffic- the road has degraded further over that period.
The rehabilitation of eight bridges in the Puruni- Itaballi area was awarded to the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission and JR Construction at the sum of $49M. According to JR Construction, Engineer Ryan Ramsingh, works are to commence on eight bridges from October 7.
Ramsingh disclosed that the works should be completed in three weeks since the project involves “remedial works, not full construction; just repair works along the erosion of the road.” He explained that due to the condition of the black water bridge, the team will start there, and then continue along the way. He noted that only if there is inclement weather will the rehabilitation of bridges be obstructed.
Minister Broomes said she intends to consult with the Ministry of Public Infrastructure on banning ‘big tankers’ from traversing the roads. She pointed to the fact that even when the roads are fixed, harsh weather combine with heavy tankers will contribute to the fast erosion of the roads. The Minister also called on residents to be more responsible and ‘hold drivers accountable’ for their reckless driving on the said roadways.
The linking of the hinterland region to the coastland has been a part of the administration’s vision of a more inclusive Guyana.
By: Zanneel Williams