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Sophia to get new roads

One of the roads in Section ‘D’, Sophia-Turkeyen

The community of Sophia will have all its major roads refurbished before the end of the 2015, says Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson.

The minister also says that the ministry plans to install street lights throughout the length of the Sophia Ring road, as well as construct several bridges to link the community’s various fields, and to also link Sophia with its neighbouringGuyhoc Park.

These preliminary revelations were made by the minister to reporters on Tuesday evening and he said “we have a few other goodies” that will be revealed when he makes his contribution to the 2015 Budget Debates on Thursday.

A check of the ‘Central Government Development Programme Capital Projects Profiles’ of the 2015 Estimates revealed that this project falls under the ministry’s Urban Roads/Drainage Project. This is listed as a new project and it is to cost government $615,750,000 over the next year and four months, $572,000,000 of which is to be expended by the end of the year.

According to the project description, the project “includes completion, construction and rehabilitation of roads and drains in Regions 2, 4, 6 and 10, including Sophia.”

Explaining the scope of works to be done in Sophia, Patterson named“the perimeter road, the entire road (Dennis Street)” and “the cross streets” among the infrastructure to be developed.

He also said that “there will also be street lights, the entire area,” and that “…eight new bridges” will link the various fields.” Work will also be done on the bridges which link Sophia to the neighbouringGuyhoc Park.”

“The tenders are out now…it is anticipated that by the time the budget is passed the tender period will be closed and we will be out to evaluation,” Patterson explained. He further said that “I do think by the end of September or the third week in September, all going well, it will be starting and it has to be completed in 2015.”

The community of Sophia has continuously been a recipient of shoddy road-work before it was regularised and to this day not much has changed. Gaping pot-holes and uneven leveling have caused innumerous damages to buses, taxis and private vehicles. The roads leading into the various Fields have been so bad at times that taxi drivers either refused to ply the route, or charged exorbitant sums to do so.

On Monday a member of the community, a bus driver, told Demerara Waves Online news that the previous administration has started to rehabilitate the community’s roads just prior to the 2015 Elections. The ‘A’ Field and ‘B’ Field access-roads were rehabilitated as part of this initiative. The remaining roads are still in a deplorable