For years, commuters have complained of the deteriorating state of the Eccles Dumpsite Road on the East Bank of Demerara (EBD).
With even more vehicular traffic utilising the roadway following the opening of the new Eccles-to-Mandela four lane highway, Public Works Minister Juan Edghill assured that upgrades to this critical piece of infrastructure will be completed expeditiously.
“That road will see an upgrade because it is a main connector to move traffic in and out of the new four lane road…if you go there right now, you’ll see work is being done, the drains are being dealt with because part of the problem of that road is the drainage…sections of the road that has failed will see the concrete empoldering,” Minister Edghill explained.
He noted that the project will be executed by both the Ministry of Public Works and the Ministry of Housing and Water.
“Works are currently ongoing. We want to get that done as fast as possible, it’s a main link and we’re executing works there,” he stated.
After 12 months of construction, the much anticipated $2.3 billion four-lane Eccles-to-Mandela Highway was opened on April 14 – providing an alternate route to bring relief from the heavy traffic on the East Bank Demerara (EBD) during the morning and afternoon rush hours.
The project, which was executed by the Housing Ministry’s Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA), represents the construction of the country’s first fully concreted four-lane highway, with dual carriageways of two lanes each and jointed reinforced concrete pavement.
Works are presently ongoing on the second phase of the initiative which will see the four-lane road continuing beyond Eccles all the way to Great Diamond, EBD.
This four-lane road project is a result of efforts by President Dr Irfaan Ali-led Government to ease traffic congestion on the East Bank, which not only leads to the country’s main port of entry – the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) – but also fields traffic coming from West Demerara.
Already, the Housing Ministry has constructed an alternative road from Diamond Housing Scheme to Mocha on the East Bank to divert traffic from the public road. That project was completed to the tune of $5 billion, and was opened last December in time for the Christmas holidays.
These projects run alongside the India-funded bypass road project which would link the East Bank Demerara corridor to the East Coast of Demerara (ECD), creating a new highway in the backlands.
The Indian Government had provided a US$50 million Line of Credit (LoC) for the road link that was initially slated for Ogle, ECD to Diamond. Under the previous Government, however, the project was at a standstill for several years.
Having taken office in 2020, the People’s Progressive Party Administration has since redesigned the project into three phases to fit the LoC. It will now run from Ogle to Haags Bosch at Eccles in the first phase, then from Eccles to Diamond, and finally from Diamond to Timehri to connect to the CJIA. However, the Indian LoC will only cover the first section of the road, that is, from Ogle to Eccles.