Oct 28, 2020 Letters
Crossing the Demerara Harbour Bridge on the journey to work leads to a stygian nightmare–long lines of stalled and clamouring traffic with nowhere to go. But this deficiency is being addressed by a multi-purpose rapid transit system now in the works and in which the bridge is a link situated at the Peters Hall/Nandy Park exit leading to the city. The traveller enters it hoping for a quick trip to the garden city/business niche built in spaces sufficient for the roads and port of the glory days of sugar, but now so lacking in carrying capacity that the garden has never before been so trampled nor its fresh air so foul. The Peters Hall/Nandy Park exit is the gateway to the traveller’s daily nightmare.
This monster of overcrowding can stunt the development of the city for years to come, and the city should, therefore, make every effort to free itself from its tentacles. Help in doing so can come from the bridge, a resource access lever that might be able to divert traffic to other regions in need of manpower. Such a diversion is possible if the bridge is located at Timehri, a place with considerable potential to support its take off as a market/traffic diversion center.
And although a Timehri crossing might at first glance appear to burden the motorist travelling from one coast to the other with an extra 25 to 40 miles each way, that set back would be offset by the saving in time that would result from the roadway being an uncongested system, and by the further likelihood that the Timehri re-development would, as part of a suggested list of inter-related actions, act as a catalyst for the development of other centers in the beckoning oil and gas economy.
The suggested list
A bridge at Timehri that would raise the profile of that area as an agri-based import/export hub servicing the belt extending from the Essequibo in the west to Crabwood Creek in the east.
Development of education/tourism and international travel and mining services in the Timehri Linden Kaieteur/Mahdia/Bartica-Potaro plateau.
Voluntary release of city waterfront lands from current to higher value water-enhanced office/hotel/retail shore-base uses and the transfer of current uses closer to their raw material bases.
Re-use of the former Schoonord/Peters Hall bridge landings as an organized fish/meat/farmers’ market.
These suggestions belong on the agenda of an integrated coastal zone management programme setting forth the official long term plan for the management of the coast to ensure the preservation and equitable distribution of its resources as a public good, and as a catalyst for hinterland development.
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