Reconstruction of ‘horrible’ Linden/ Soesdyke highway pending Islamic Bank loan

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Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo says that much-needed rehabilitation works for the Linden/Soesdyke highway are planned for this year but the country is awaiting a loan from the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB).

This highway is a vital road link that connects Guyana’s coast to the mining town of Linden and the country’s interior regions.

The Vice President, during an outreach activity in Linden on Sunday, said that the government spent some money repairing the road but because of exhaustive use, it has returned to a dilapidated state over time.

Last year, the government spent about $150 million resurfacing some sections of the roadway and engaging in drainage works.

Despite this, Jagdeo, who used the highway to travel to Linden on Sunday, remarked, “… the highway is in a horrible state, it is in a bad state coming up here.”

As such, he posited that rehabilitation works are badly needed. To help advance the government’s infrastructure agenda, the government is seeking a US $120 million loan from the Islamic Development Bank.

Jagdeo said that the government hopes the loan will be approved by June at which time the bank has a board meeting. And with the loan, he said that the government hopes to start “reconstructing” the highway before the end of 2022.

“That is what we are hoping to do, to pave the highway all the way from the junction into Linden,” Jagdeo announced.

As per the 2022 National Budget, $2.6 billion has been set aside for the rehabilitation of the entire Soesdyke-Linden Highway.

Asked for an update on these budgeted works for the highway, Minister of Public Works Juan Edghill only told the News Room that the government is in the “design stage and finalising for the procurement to begin for the road.”

He did not provide an estimated timeline for the completion of the project. Instead, he said, “It is budgeted for this year and we are advancing it for 2022.”

Meanwhile, Jagdeo said that the rehabilitation works at this highway are part of a wider infrastructural agenda.

“We badly need to upgrade the infrastructure of the future,” he told Lindeners and other residents of Region 10 on Sunday.

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