Mar 10, 2013 News
Each year, the buildup of traffic along the East Bank Demerara Public Road is more. Within the next five years if an alternative road, the Southern Approach, is not built, travel time along the existing roadway will drastically increase leading to massive traffic congestion, says a Transportation Consultant.
The Transportation Consultant who did a recent study, said that he utilized the Diamond Housing Scheme as the starting point of his journey to Georgetown during the morning peak hour and discovered that it took him about 75 minutes to reach Kingston—a distance of less than10 miles.
He encountered two traffic jams- one inside Diamond Housing Scheme and Demerara Harbour Bridge- and the gridlock stretching from the turn at Banks DIH to Ruimveldt Police Station.
He stressed that given the current unbearable traffic situation and the expansion of more housing schemes along the East Bank Demerara, Government should invest in the construction of the Southern Approach Road, leading from behind the Diamond Housing Scheme to Mandela Avenue.
“This structure would take about US$3M per mile to construct and should have been given precedence over the construction of the Marriott-branded hotel costing US$51M that uncertainty lingers over its viability… It should have also been given precedence over the expansion of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport runway,” he said.
The consultant noted that the poor transportation network of the Diamond Housing Scheme is an example of haphazard planning. He hopes that this Government should correct this flaw of former President Bharrat Jagdeo and practise proper planning that incorporates the human factor.
As such, consideration should be given to the fact that housing areas are being developed at Farm, Herstelling, Providence and Eccles and the existing transportation infrastructure cannot accommodate thousands of residents.
Even with the widening of the East Bank Demerara Public Road into four-lane from Providence to Diamond the traffic congestion will not be reduced since the bottlenecks and gridlock will remain.
The roadway is already burdened by increasing traffic from West Bank and West Coast Demerara. This is also expected to further increase with the opening up of more housing establishments on those areas.
The consultant opined that mostly drivers of private vehicles would take advantage of this route while public transportation would continue along the existing roadway. Nonetheless, the goal of reducing the number of vehicles traversing the corridor would be achieved.
Plans to erect the Southern Approach Road have been echoed by many Government officials but it is time concrete action is taken. The vision of constructing the new Demerara Harbour Bridge at the preferred location at Versailles, West Bank Demerara to Houston, East Bank Demerara includes the Southern Approach Road.
“If construction of this road is not put on the front burner the East Bank Demerara Public Road will be a chaotic stretch to traverse…And, the Demerara Harbour Bridge would not be a reality…But, most of these plans would remain dreams if Government does not act now in a planned manner,” the consultant said.
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