Government Ministers and Regional Officials on Friday commissioned the Barrack Retreat Corridor, the main access road into Lethem located in Region Nine, Upper Takatu-Upper Essequibo.
According to the Department of Public Information (DPI), $473M was invested to build the new asphalt dual carriageway.
Speaking at the Commissioning ceremony, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo said “it takes vision, it takes a plan, and we can use Lethem as an example…More persons will be identifying Lethem as the connecting hub that will connect Guyana with the rest of South America.”
Public Infrastructure Minister David Paterson told residents that there are numerous plans in the pipeline for Region 9.
According to the DPI, the Minister said for 2020 and beyond, there will be extension of internal roads, streetlights and drainage in Lethem.
Beginning in 2017, JR Ranch Incorporated began Phase 1 of the road by installing 2km of underground drains, sub base and base preparation. For 2018, the sub-base and base layer with laterite was constructed from the roundabout to Tabatinga Bridge.
The Barrack Retreat Corridor was completed in 2019 with the paving of the asphalt road to an approximate length of 1.8km.
Region 9’s Regional Executive Officer, Carl Parker welcomed the project noting that the region has seen a change in its landscape.
Residents of Lethem also endorsed the project.
Quoting Junior Springer, who grew up in the township, the Government information arm said residents are appreciative of the promise fulfilled by the government.
“It is a big relief for the residents of Lethem, especially shop owners that have their business alongside the road. Before, when you visit the shop, everything in the shop was red, and now it is a total difference; the whole atmosphere has changed. You are not seeing the redness; the shops are clean,” he stated. Springer, who is also a motorcyclist, explained that he would now be spending far less money on wear and tear,” DPI quoted Springer saying,
Another resident, Rachael Joseph who spoke with the Agency school children will also be more comfortable when it rains since the road will no longer become muddy.
The Lethem Road project began in 2017 and is among a series of major infrastructural developments ongoing in the township.
Lethem was officially declared a town in October 2017. This project, along with the planned construction/rehabilitation of the Linden-Lethem highway, will significantly reduce travel time between Georgetown and Lethem, thus increasing accessibility into the region.