By Isanella Patoir
The Mandela to Eccles four-lane highway was officially declared open to the public by President Dr Irfaan Ali on Thursday night and he promised that a new traffic system will ensure errant drivers are dealt with condignly.
In delivering the feature address at the commissioning ceremony of the road, the Head of State revealed that the new electronic monitoring speed system will be implemented within three weeks, targeting delinquent road users and ensuring compliance with the law.
“Those who continuously abuse the road will lose their license,” the President said to loud applause from those in attendance.
This new road security feature will be fully digitised and will track the speech of vehicles, record the speed, license plates and transmit the information to the Guyana Police Force and the Guyana Revenue Authority.
If drivers are found breaching the speed limit or any other road regulation, they will be ticketed electronically and be required to pay a fine at GRA.
Should drivers not pay the fine, then their license will not be renewed, President Ali announced.
“To ensure that all of us live long to enjoy this ‘One Guyana’, this highway would carry a new feature,” the President revealed.
(All photos are by Keno George)
This first of its kind, fully concrete highway was conceptualised by President Ali while he served as the Minister of Housing in 2013. The $2.3 billion project took about one year to be completed and was executed under the Central Housing and Planning Authority by six contractors.
The project includes a four-lane highway featuring a dual carriageway of two lanes each, construction of drains and culverts, paving, and the installation of solar street lights and bridges.
Minister of Housing and Water Collin Croal during his remarks said the road will not only ease the traffic burden commuters face on the East Bank of Demerara but will also increase the value of properties and land.
According to Minister Croal, more than $6.8 billion has been expended for the development of infrastructure and with this new road link, 5,000 more house lots will open up.
“The completion of this highway will bring benefit to thousands of citizens in existing housing schemes, already more than 11, 000 lots have been allocated since we are back in office throughout Dream Realised activities,” the Housing Minister revealed.
Over $25 billion was also allocated for more infrastructure works and the continuation of the Eccles to Diamond four-lane highway. The contract for this project has already been awarded and construction is underway.
Meanwhile, a new monument was also unveiled at the new Mandela roundabout. President Ali explained that the monument is a replica of an adult size Harpy Eagle and weighs 3,000 pounds; it is 11 feet in height with a wings span of 17 feet soaring upwards.
It represents the strength of the country; the wings signify the protection of citizens while the claws are a symbol that will lift the country’s economy to the highest point.
“Soaring heights, onward forever and lifting up the lowest and the smallest of Guyanese in one flight, wings spread protecting the nation together, we move forward in one momentum,” President Ali said.