US$46M West Side road project commissioned

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The US$46 million road improvement project on the West Coast of Demerara (WCD) has been commissioned, four years after it was launched.

The road improvement project, funded by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Guyana Government, was officially launched on March 20, 2014, and was scheduled to be executed over a period of five years.

The upgrades to the 30.7km stretch of road now benefit approximately 100,000 persons from the Vreed-en-Hoop to Hydronie, inclusive of students from over 30 schools, the Department of Public Information (DPI) noted.

The improvements include upgraded bridges and culverts, new ‘shared-use’ lanes for cyclists and pedestrians at key junctions, the installation of high visibility traffic signs and road markers, the installation of pedestrian footpath bridges, the construction of concrete drains at critical locations and the construction of parking lanes along identified sections of the road.

A commissioning ceremony was held at the De Willem Tarmac, WCD Wednesday afternoon and in attendance were several government ministers.

Minister of State, Joseph Harmon acknowledged that construction plays a key role in the socio-economic development of any country and it is only through construction that vital infrastructure like roads, bridges and airports are put in place.

Minister of State Joseph Harmon. (DPI photo)

“Great importance and priority must be given to construction and infrastructure… the government recognises public infrastructure as a key element in our development in linking communities,” Minister Harmon was quoted as saying.

Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson said the project is evidence of government’s commitment to developing the country’s infrastructure.

“Today’s commissioning reiterates government’s commitment to continue infrastructural development across Guyana at a standard that aims to drive focus beyond routine rehabilitation of roadworks. This project is, therefore, monumental and it encapsulates the inclusion of several features that are geared towards advancing safety and the efficiency of the roadway,” he is quoted as saying.

Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson. (DPI photo)

The project forms part of the Government ’s ongoing programme to modernise its road infrastructure and the institutional framework supporting its management. This is expected to result in a number of direct and indirect positive social impacts in the West Coast and the country as a whole.

These include: the reduction in risk of serious injury or death particularly to students walking and riding to and from school, adoption of better road safety uses and enhance the appeal of the project area for businesses and housing.

Junior Minister of Public Infrastructure Annette Ferguson, Regional Executive Officer (REO) Denis Jaikarran and the Mayor of Bartica Gifford Marshal delivered remarks at the commissioning ceremony.

Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo and Minister of Finance Winston Jordan were also in attendance.

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