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Billions set aside for roads, bridges

Government plans to spend $13 billion for the construction and rehabilitation of roads and bridges across Guyana. 

This is according to Finance Minister Winston Jordon, who made the revelation during his presentation of Budget 2015 on Monday. 

“…in 2015, the sum of $13 billion has been allocated for the enhancing of roads and bridges throughout Guyana,” he said. 

$1.6 billion of this amount, said Jordon, will go toward the “upgrading of the Sheriff Street-Mandella Avenue Road, making it a modern thoroughfare.” This initiative, he said will create an efficient link between the East Coast Demerara (ECD) highway to the East Bank Guyana (EBG) Highway. 

Jordon also shared intentions to construct a road from between Parika and Goshen, thus providing and additional route to Bartica. 

He said “We will construct a road-link between Parika and Goshen that will provide an alternative access route to Bartica.”

Those two projects were conceptualised and initiated by the former administration; the Parika to Goshen road dating back to the 1960s.

The amount also includes an allocation of $1.2 billion for the completion of the EBD highway toward improving transit between Providence and Diamond. Actual work in this project got underway in March of 2013 though the agreements signed in 2011 stipulated that works were to be completed in March 2013. 

The project is the product of a joint initiative between the former administration and the Inter-American Development Bank. The initial cost for the project was US$17 million. As the project has been delayed by several years, however, it is not certain what the actual cost is.   

Jordon also spoke of intentions to create a bypass road linking Diamond, EBD to Ogle, ECD. This initiative is being undertaken, he said, for several reasons, including to open up “a modern housing scheme for 1100 households while creating new jobs for Guyanese.”

He said that the road itself will serve as a more efficient link between the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) and the Ogle International Airport OIA. 

Further, Winston said that nearly $400 million”will be invested to upgrade the Sophia Ring Road to link the Sheriff Street-Mandela Avenue urban development to peri-urban communities.”

Also, $544 million will go toward upgrading community road and bridges throughout Guyana’s Ten (10) Administrative Regions. 

“Similarly, the provision of 1.2 billion has been…to upgrade more than 28 kilometes of road-to-market access-roads and bridges located in Laluni, Onverwagt, Parkia Ruby Backdams.”

Government is also proposing to “construct all-weather roads in Regions 7 and 9” toward “exploiting our natural resources; and upgrade internal roads in the proposed new towns of Bartica, Mahdia and Mabaruma.”

Jordon mentioned that studies are ongoing toward finally constructing a road from Linden to Lethem, thus connecting “our most remote locations with those on the coast.”