Sep 30, 2018 News
Earlier this year, the Linden/Ituni/Kwakwani road was a major thorn in the side for Government.
Thousands of persons use the roadway, in that Region 10 area, to get to their homes in Ituni and Kwakwani, two bauxite mining and logging communities, in the Upper Berbice River area.
With rains and poor maintenance, the linkage was almost impassable at times, with vehicles stuck and when they did make it out of the craters, travel time would have taken as much as five hours.
Today, the travel time between Linden and Kwakwani, a distance of about 100 kilometers, is taking just over one hour.
Residents have been appealing over the years for a structured maintenance programme for an area that was vibrant in its heyday for its bauxite boom.
The maintenance, when it was done, was to hurriedly patch the holes without the necessary routine checks, residents complained.
The predominantly bauxite communities have now included logging in a major way with the opening of concessions.
Earlier this year, the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission signed contracts with International Imports and Supplies, a contractor that has been successfully tackling hinterland roads, including the difficult terrains of the Port Kaituma area, Region One.
Since the signing in May, the contractor has completed the maintenance of the roadway.
Recently, Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, visiting Kwakwani, took just over one hour from Linden.
A Ministry’s statement said that Trotman noted his satisfaction with the works done so far.
In May 2018, the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission through the Ministry of Natural Resources awarded contracts for the repairs to the road at a cost of $239.7M.
The works include ditching, excavating, section repairs of soft spots and filling with laterite. These works benefit the two communities on either side, including the residents of Ituni and Aroaima.
Member of Parliament (MP), Audwin Rutherford said that prior to the maintenance works, the journey was more than three hours. Now, it is under two hours.
The upgrades began in late July.
“We have no need to complain. Trucks will no longer be left on the road due to wear and tear from poor road conditions. Commuters using private vehicles using the road are more encouraged, due to less travel time and less maintenance on their vehicles. We do not anticipate transportation prices to rise due to poor road conditions which happened in the past,” MP Rutherford explained.
The government MP pointed out that the contractor has done an excellent job on the road and upgraded some internal roads, which were not included in the agreement. This, he stressed, is value for money.
Orvil August, a resident of Kwakwani who operates a transportation service, said it took her “one hour and a half from Kwakwani to Ituni and now is just about forty minutes driving at sixty-five kilometres per hour. Also, now that the road is maintained, I will be saving significantly on maintenance of my vehicles.”
Ituni resident, Ron Wilson expressed similar sentiments and commended the contractor International Imports and Supplies for an excellent job on the road.
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