Minister of Public Works, Juan Edghill on Tuesday commissioned the $99 million, three-lane Hunter Street. The road was reopened to traffic today and is expected to ease congestion along the East Bank Demerara corridor.
During peak morning hours, Hunter Street will facilitate two lanes of traffic heading to the capital, while the afternoon hours will allow two lanes of traffic heading to the East Bank.
Minister Edghill said the interventions of the PPP/C Administration have brought important variations to the project, including the construction of culverts and the widening of the road.
He also thanked residents for their patience during the execution of the project, which was done by Vieira 66 Logistics. The project, which started under the Coalition, had faced numerous delays with the previous contractor.
Minister Edghill said efforts would be made to enhance roads used during traffic diversions.
“We had to divert traffic particularly though Alexander Village and, in some instances, through West. Within one week, the Ministry of Public Works’ Force Account Unit will come to these areas and do the remedial work on all the streets that have been damaged.”
The Minister also instructed that street lights be installed along Hunter Street.
Concrete drains along the roadway are also expected to be covered and a section of vegetation between the walkway and the road would be maintained.
Permanent markings along the roadway are expected to be in place within weeks.
Meanwhile, Minister Edghill shrugged at criticisms that Vieira 66 Logistics should not have been awarded the contract to complete the road because of its inexperience in road building.
He said all companies must be given a fair shot to gain experience in road works, rather than a selected few.
“I am inviting contractors who felt that they didn’t have a chance before to come on board. Nobody in Guyana has a monopoly on road construction, or sea defences, or building construction. Guyana is opened for the participation of all Guyanese.
“We have to develop local capacity, and without apology, the PPP/C Administration will continue to facilitate the development of local capacity, so that our local people can participate and benefit in Guyana’s modernisation and transformation projects,” he said.
Minister Edghill said the Administration has pledged to modernise Guyana’s infrastructure through the construction of new roadways and the maintenance of existing ones.
Additionally, he encouraged all road users to observe the rules of the road to ensure public safety and protect public property. Traffic Chief, Senior Superintendent Mr. Ramesh Ashram expressed similar sentiments.
Under Budget 2021, $25.6 billion has been approved for the rehabilitation and construction of roads and bridges.