An GYD$80 million Manari bypass in Region 9 (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) is expected to reduce the number of road accidents around a dangerously sharp turn, officials said.
The bypass was constructed by JR Ranch Incorporated in collaboration with the ministries of Public Infrastructure and Natural Resources.
“With this new bypass, it is hoped lives will be saved” Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman was quoted as saying in government’s Department of Public Information (DPI) bulletin.
The bypass was opened under the theme “Improving travel comfort and saving lives” and forms part of the Coalition Government’s pledge to facilitate ease of transport by residents, visitors, loggers and minibuses along the Linden-Lethem corridor.
The bypass had been a sore subject for many who had lost friends and loved ones on what has been described as a dangerous turn, just before entering the town of Lethem. Before the new bypass, drivers coming off the Manari Bridge had the hard task of a sharp left turn just off the bridge, which resulted in countless accidents and fatalities.
In 2017, following the increase in accidents, particularly fatalities in the vicinity of the Manari Bridge, JR Ranch lobbied the government to find a solution to the problem.
Both Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson and Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman responded, and in little over two years, the bypass became a reality.
It saw over 20,000 cubic metres of fill material being used to raise the road to a reasonable height to mitigate the negative effects of flooding and landslides that are common in the generally flat terrain of the Rupununi Savannahs. Further, a layer of 200 mm of lateritic material was placed and compacted on the finished roadway, providing a surface for good rideability.
With the new bypass, after the Manari Bridge, drivers now have ease of continuing straight, on towards their various destinations.
“We have made a commitment to developing the hinterland region and as you can see, work is already underway” stated Minister Trotman.
Public Infrastructure Minister Patterson said he was happy with the project, and assured residents that this is just part of what government has in store for the region.
Also present at the opening were Ministers of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock and Valerie Garrido-Lowe, Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), Commissioner, Newell Dennison and Lethem Mayor, Kerry Jarvis.