Low income, young professionals housing earmarked for Ogle/Diamond bypass road

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President Irfaan Ali and Housing Minister Collin Croal (far right) during Saturday’s site visits

In keeping with the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Government’s ambitious target of 50,000 house lots, the Ogle to Diamond road link and the communities that are likely to spring up around the road are being looked at as viable options for the professionals and low-income wage earners.

This was revealed by President Dr Irfaan Ali during a site inspection he conducted on Saturday along with technical officials and Housing and Water Minister, Collin Croal. He also noted the importance of the road currently being constructed, with the first phase from Sixth Avenue Diamond, to Eccles, East Bank of Demerara (EBD).

“In terms of housing, we have also examined some of the sites that we are developing for young professional housing, the low-income housing and so on. As you know, we have a very ambitious target for housing and these infrastructures are critical,” the Head of State explained.

Enhance housing area

This publication meanwhile spoke with Minister Croal, who noted the importance of the road not only for new house lot allottees but for those living in the preexisting housing areas still in development. He noted that at present, there are several housing areas in Providence, Perseverance, Little Diamond and Great Diamond, that will directly benefit from the road.

“There’s a small piece at Eccles where we already have allocations. We have some developers who have areas there. But the road passes right through our housing programme on the East Bank from Great Diamond.”

“So obviously it will enhance our housing area, because it means easier access and it will raise the values for the properties back there. So it will be another access from Diamond all the way to Eccles, without having to go on the main East Bank highway,” Minister Croal said.

The bypass project will see a total of 26 kilometres of road constructed, linking two of the country’s main thoroughfares. This new road link will also be connected to key communities in Georgetown and along the East Bank of Demerara. These include Diamond, Mocha and Eccles – all on the East Bank – and Aubrey Barker Road in Georgetown. These connections will prove crucial in diverting traffic.

At present, works are ongoing on the new alternative road connecting Diamond and Eccles on the EBD corridor in order to ease the traffic congestion. The new alternative road will run from Sixth Avenue, Diamond, to the Windsor Estate Road that leads on to the Eccles Landfill Site Road. This will form a connection through the new Herstelling Housing Scheme and other schemes that are being developed along the EBD corridor.

Simultaneous work

Meanwhile, works are simultaneously ongoing at the head of Diamond for a second entrance into the housing scheme from the East Bank Public Road. That new road is located between the Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) factory and the GuyOil Gas Station and will run to First Avenue.

The $57.1 million project also entails a tarmac for a market and parking lots at Diamond. The contract was awarded to Bardon Construction Service, and construction will be done in two phases. Phase I will consist of crusher run and Phase II will consist of the application of asphaltic concrete and a possible extension of the tarmac access road to First Avenue.

When it comes to housing, the Housing and Water Ministry has managed to allocate over 5000 house lots since the PPP Government took office in August of last year – which is more than half of the amount that was issued during the APNU/AFC Administration’s five years stint. Additionally, the 50,000 house lots target in their first term will amount to 10,000 per year.