Section of East Bank highway to be developed at cost of US $117M

Persons residing along the East Bank of Demerara will soon see transformation to a section of the highway to the tune of US $117 million.

The project falls under a loan contract titled “Programme to Support Climate Resilient Road Infrastructure Development”, aimed to advance Guyana’s safe, efficient, and climate resilient road and associated infrastructure.

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is financing US $100 million, while the Government of Guyana will fund the remainder of the cost.

The programme’s specific objectives are to improve road service quality and utility service, along the East Bank Demerara corridor through road and corresponding utility infrastructure improvements.

Representatives of the Ministry of Public Works, Ministry of Finance and Inter-American Development Bank

The east bank corridor is critical given the increased economic activities and its connectivity to the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, the Soesdyke/Linden Highway, and the future development of Silica City, an initiative of President, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali.

The project will see the rehabilitation of 23.5 kilometres of the highway, with a boundary from Good Success to Timehri, East Bank Demerara.

The rehabilitation of the road includes widening to cater to pedestrians and cyclists, landscaping and curb improvements, rehabilitation of drainage, and retrofitting of bridges and culverts, among other upgrades.

It consists of four components; the first includes planning for the direct cost of infrastructure interventions, while component two covers strengthening planning and investment.

Component three will focus on promoting road safety management and component four will cover tasks specifically related to monitoring, evaluation, and auditing.

During the launch of the ‘kick-off’ workshop to discuss the programme on Tuesday at the Marriott Hotel, Kingston, Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill noted the importance of the project owing to the fact that the East Bank corridor is one of the busiest roads.

Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill during the workshop

“So, this project entails fixing some other auxiliary roads, the bridges, the culverts, the structures, to ensure that we get a comprehensive approach, and as we’re developing this thoroughfare, the others are not neglected,” the Public Works Minister pointed out.

“We value the partnership and the relationship with the IDB, not just the financing, but the coaching, the technical expertise, and some of the interventions that come along with the financing. I look forward to every success and I look forward to this project being fulfilled within time,” the minister further expressed.

The workshop will continue over the next two days, where the various components will be explored by representatives of the IDB, public works and finance ministries, and other stakeholders.

On March 6, the loan agreement was signed by Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh, and IDB President Ilan Goldfajn, in Trinidad and Tobago.