…regional residents, contractors to benefit
Residents along the East Bank of Berbice can now breathe a sigh of relief after years of complaining
about the deplorable state of the East Bank Berbice Highway.
On a visit to the region and the community, Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson held a meeting with residents, Sunday, at the Onderneeming Market Square, East Bank Berbice where he disclosed that the stretch of road was to have finally undergone construction as early as yesterday.
According to Patterson, initially there were talks with the Inter American Bank (IDB) to have the project funded at a cost of $1.8 B.
However, after not receiving any positive word from the IDB to go ahead with the project he decided to seek the assistance from the Government of Guyana- the Ministry of Finance while proposing that he can make the project a reality at a lower cost of $1.2 B.
After consulting and deliberating on the offer, Patterson was given the green light to move forward with the project, much to the approval of those gathered at the meeting.
Construction, he stated, will begin from Stanleytown and conclude at Everton Village, but will eventually run straight on to Mara Village, this he noted will be done in phases.
“The overall objective of this project is to provide a solution to the current difficulty of using the roadway safely and comfortably due to its deteriorated state”, Patterson said.
The poor state of the road limits access to the rich agricultural lands in Mara. This,
he promised, will be a problem of the past with a new highway slated to be completed in eight months time, “The general feeling is that there would be significant economic opportunities in agricultural growth if a better road was constructed”.
He noted that the minor works will be tendered out to the region contractors with employment opportunities for over 25 persons along the East Bank.
The works that will be done includes site clearance and earthworks, sub-base and base works, pavement works, minor drainage works, incidental road works, traffic signs and road markings and bridges and box culverts, street lights are also expected to be installed along the road ways with a pavement for persons traversing the road by foot.
Residents were also given the opportunity to highlight other issues affecting them in the community. They took the opportunity to express relief and gratitude for the positive news
disseminated by the Minister.
Protest actions have been taking place since 2009 up until last year. Hire car drivers and commuters traversing the road. A special projects unit was mobilized on the ground since March, carrying out daily maintenance on the entire stretch of the East Bank Road. This was done at an approximate cost of $30 Million.
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