The Ministry of Public Infrastructure will be providing $50M for the execution of works in Region Seven. This is according to a statement from the Ministry which noted that the entity is already looking at its 2019 hinterland budget.
The works will be identified collaboratively by the regional administration and the municipality of Bartica.
The Ministry said a team headed by subject Minister, David Patterson and Ministry of Finance officials visited the Region recently to give the financial officials a firsthand look at the infrastructure issues affecting hinterland residents. Sites visited included Issano, the Amaila Falls Road, and Cassandra Crossing.
During a subsequent meeting with regional executives and the Bartica Town Council, the minister explained that he and his team had visited Region 8 just last week and this most recent visit was to see the other end of the trail.
The Minister said plans are in the pipeline to fix the Denham Bridge [Region 8] while suggestions were also made for the Cassandra Crossing [Region 7] to be fixed.
Patterson, according to the ministry’s statement, said that between the two bridges there are approximately 10km of estimated roadway and upgrading this stretch would provide a smooth linkage between Bartica and Mahdia, a project that would better commercial activities and lower the costs of living within the two communities.
The Ministry expects to have this project done in 2019.
A large team from MPI, including Minister Patterson; Permanent Secretary, Mr. Kenneth Jordan; Chief Roads and Bridges Officer, Mr. Ron Rahaman; Hinterland Engineer, Mr. Jeffrey Walcott; and Hinterland Coordinator, Mr. Gregory Rickford, and MOF’s Finance Secretary, Dr. Hector Butts, along Head of Regional Planning, Mr. Miguel Cho Kang set out on Friday morning by road for Bartica, Region 7.
Dr. Butts told the meeting that what he has seen on the trail will be taken into consideration when preparing the next budget.
The Regional authority was also urged to maintain the investments and clamp down on overladen trucks which contribute to the rapid deterioration of the roadway.
MPI is currently undertaking four projects within Region 7.
These are: Rehabilitation/construction of Bartica-Potaro Road, spread across two lots: Mile 33 to Mile 52, and from Mile 52 to Mile 72; rehabilitation of roads and drains in Bartica; rehabilitation and construction of road from Mile 4-5 Bartica plus drains; and rehabilitation/construction of Issano Road (phase 1 – White Hill).