The government has allocated a whopping $76 billion to cater for the construction and upgrades of key roads and bridges in 2022 with $49.2 billion going to roads and $27.5 billion to be spent on bridges.
In relation to roads, key allocations include provisions of $8.3 billion for the rehabilitation of the Corentyne Main Road from Palmyra to Crabwood Creek; $6 billion for the construction of the Linden-Mabura Hill Road and $3.4 billion for hinterland roads.
Additionally, $2.6 billion has been set aside for the rehabilitation of the entire Soesdyke-Linden Highway; $2.3 billion for the East Bank-East Coast Demerara Road Linkage between Ogle and Eccles; $1.1 billion to complete the Sheriff Street – Mandela Road Network and Expansion Project.
Additionally, some $15.2 billion is allocated for the construction and rehabilitation of additional urban and community roads, Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh announced.
“We recognise that one of the most severe irritants regarding the roads network right now is the congestion on the East Bank Demerara corridor. We have committed to resolving this… a new four-lane highway linking Mandela Avenue to Haags Bosch is currently under construction and will be completed in the first quarter of 2022,” Dr. Singh added.
Construction of the four-lane Ogle to Haags Bosch road will also commence shortly, creating another road access which will further reduce the current traffic chaos and congestion along the East Bank corridor.
Further, works will also commence to widen and pave the East Bank Highway from Grove to Timehri for which $2.1 billion is allocated in 2022.
Meanwhile, preparatory work has also been initiated in relation to the widening of the East Coast highway from Annandale to Mahaica, the upgrade of the railway embankment from Sheriff Street to Orange Nassau, and the construction of the new four-lane superhighway from Schoonord to Parika.
With respect to bridges, $21.1 billion is allocated to advance construction of the new, fixed four-lane high span Demerara River Bridge, while $946 million has been budgeted to rehabilitate and maintain the aged existing floating bridge.
Additionally, $4.1 billion is allocated for the re-construction of several bridges along the Kurupukari to Lethem corridor that will support the phased construction of the Linden to Lethem highway.
To address the critical needs of bridges across the country, another $173.9 million is budgeted for the construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of bridges in areas including Garden of Eden, Chateau Margot, Beterverwagting, and Cemetery Road.
“Another extremely important intervention included in Budget 2022 is an allocation of $3.3 billion to finance improvement and enhancement of the aesthetics of the environment across major urban areas in our country, with a particular focus on the capital city. It would be recalled that His Excellency the President spearheaded the launching of a major cleanup campaign in Georgetown just over a week ago.
“This programme will see a number of restoration projects and programmes being undertaken,” Dr. Singh added.