Billions being invested to develop road networks in Region Ten

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Minister of Public Works Bishop Juan Edghill, Head of the Special Projects Unit Mr. Colin Gittens and Mayor of Linden, Ms. Waneka Arrindell walking the rehabilitated road

Residents of Region Ten (Upper Demerara-Berbice) will soon benefit from billions of dollars in infrastructural works that will vastly develop the region’s road network.

Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill said before the end of the year, the region will see a massive facelift with new and rehabilitated roads.

He made the disclosure on Tuesday during the commissioning of a multi-million-dollar road in the mining town.

Minister Edghill said Government is making strides in fulfilling a commitment to construct an all-weather road from Linden to Lethem. He said the first 125 kilometres of the road will be undertaken from Linden to Mabura Hill. The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the United Kingdom Caribbean Infrastructure Partnership Fund (UKCIF) are funding the project.

CDB’s President Dr. Hyginus ‘Gene’ Leon during his recent visit examined the road alignment.

“This year, in the last quarter we will be signing the contract for that road, it will cost about $US190 million ($38 billion) … That contract is at the final procurement stage. Pre-qualification, price proposals and award. We have already had the pre-qualifications that were advertised, a number of companies have been shortlisted and as soon as the Caribbean Development Bank gives approval of those shortlisted companies, price proposals and final evaluation and that is for 2021,” Minister Edghill said.

Further, $150 million will be expended for the upgrade of the Linden /Soesdyke Highway. Minister Edghill said the contract for that project has already been awarded and works will commence soon.

He said the rehabilitation of the road will “ensure residents of Region Ten as well as businesses and others travelling through to Region nine, seven and eight, that traverse through this township could get to Linden and onto their final destination in a safe manner.”

Government will also be collaborating with the Ministry of Natural Resources to construct a road from Orealla to Kwakwani. Minister Edghill said he, along with Natural Resources Minister Vickram Bharrat will soon make an assessment of the alignment to ensure the road is properly built.

“With that road, aggregates, the quarrying industry, trucks will be able to bring aggregates from the quarry for construction and for infrastructural development into Region Ten and other areas and ultimately getting into the market for our entire road construction,” Minister Edghill said.

Residents will also benefit from the rehabilitation of a number of urban and miscellaneous roads. For urban roads, $20 million will be spent on rehabilitation and construction of Third Corner East, Amelia’s Ward, Linden; $17 million for rehabilitation of Top Knock Street, Half Mile, Linden; and $12 million for rehabilitation of Main Road to One Mile Primary School.

As it relates to miscellaneous roads, $11.5 million has been set aside for the rehabilitation of the Kwakwani road network, $13.5 million for the road to Hururu Village, $34 million to rehabilitate the road network to West Watooka, $23 million to rehabilitate Phase Three Amelia’s Ward roads, $28 million to rehabilitate the road network in Block 22, $30 million to rehabilitate the road from Old England to Coomacka Mines and $22 million for the rehabilitation of roads in Andy’s Ville and Pros Ville in Wismar.

“The residents of Region Ten can be fully informed and duly notified that not every single thing that they desire to be done is being done which is the same situation that exist in any region and in any village, significant allocations have been budgeted and will be expended for the development of works in Region Ten under both the urban road project and miscellaneous road project, about $300 million in works in 2021,” Minister Edghill stated.

The Public Works Minister also noted that he will soon visit with a team from the Sea and River Defence Board to make an assessment to determine the best possible location for the $30 million waterfront development project.

“Some people have a view that we should do it at the Wismar shore, some have a view that we should do it on the Mackenzie shore but we want to be able that wherever we spend this year’s allocation it must have the greatest impact… be assured that every cent of the $30 million will be spent this year to bring improvement to the waterfront development but at a manner that would give maximum benefit to the people.”

The Minister said the Government’s approach to development is non-discriminatory.