Dec 28, 2016 News
– No lights in several areas
– Encumbrance of lanes
– ‘Ridiculous’ speed limit
Since the new four-lane East Bank Highway became available to the thousands of commuters that utilise the link, some communities are still deprived of the accompanying necessary road lights – resulting in darkness in several communities and headaches for commuters.
Kaieteur News had published an article on this exact issue on October 29, and subsequently another on December 1 this year, and from all indications, there has been no change to the situation which continues to be a cause of concern.
Following a visit to the Route 42 (Georgetown to Timehri) Park yesterday, minibus operators expressed frustration over the issue. The most reoccurring complaint was that the situation has become more dangerous now that the rainy season is in effect.
One operator who requested anonymity said that with the areas in darkness, it is particularly difficult to indentify when persons are utilizing the pedestrian crossings.
“When people wear dark clothes, it is hard to see them crossing, plus when vehicles turn, you can’t see anything (until) you are close to them,” the driver said.
Since the problem has persisted, Kaieteur News had previously contacted Senior Electrical Engineer within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure Terrence O’Brien to get a clearer picture with respect to the reasons for the existing situation and when it is expected that the problem will be rectified.
He had told this publication that the stretch of road had been contracted to BK International Inc. Further, O’Brien said that the company is in the process of importing two transformers necessary to complete the circuit. However, until this happens, according to O’Brien, the Ministry will be moving ahead to temporarily install two 25 kilo volt ampere transformers. He said that the two units have been acquired and tested at the Guyana Power and Light’s Sophia location.
When Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson was contacted, he stated that the transformers have been tested and would be installed by GPL in a couple of days – this was almost one month ago.
According to previous reports also, the installation of the transformers were scheduled to happen in time for the arrival of Prince Harry. The Prince came and left weeks ago and the installation did not occur.
According to a source, Minister Patterson has spoken with the top officials at Guyana Power and Light (GPL) to have the Transmission and Distribution (T&D) department uplift the transformers and install them. The source said that the Minister has already spoken to Chief Executive Officer of GPL Renford Homer and Deputy CEO Elwyn Marshall to ensure all goes according to plan.
According to sources familiar with the project, initially the company had installed transformers, but this was done without lightning arresters. As a result of this, the transformers were damaged during a lightning storm.
Among other concerns that were raised during this publication’s visit to the bus park was the designated Diamond Housing Scheme Taxi Parking which they claim, is being swamped with “private-hire” cars.
Because these private cars are not catered for, they park beyond the ‘white line’ resulting in the eastern lane of the highway heading south, completely being blocked off causing the two lanes of oncoming traffic to merge into one.
Concerns were also raised about the speed limit on several sections of the highway.
Commuters argued that the limit prior to the construction of the four-lane highway was 50 kilometers per hour (31 miles per hour) and now since the expansion is completed, the limit should be increased. They have labeling the existing 50 km per hour as “ridiculous” given that several areas where the double-lane roads still exist, also attracts the same speed limit.
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