President Dr. Irfaan Ali has alluded to a massive road expansion plan, expected by 2025, that will support ongoing urban development and the establishment of Guyana’s new city- Silica City.
Before he commissioned the new Eccles to Mandela four-lane highway on Thursday night, the President spoke about ongoing road projects and alluded to several set to come on stream.
Like the newly-commissioned highway, the Head of State said that these road projects are expected to relieve some of the traffic congestion woes faced by commuters. And, he explained that an expanded road network is part of the government’s urban development plan.
“Development will come and it will come rapidly.
“To support that development, (it) requires rapid infrastructural transformation,” President Ali emphasised.
In so doing, he said that four-lane highways would be established at several areas along the coast- be it in Region Four along on the East Coast of Demerara (ECD), through Georgetown, on the East Bank of Demerara (EBD), or in Regions Three and Six.
Importantly, he said that these new roadways are being developed to support ongoing urban development. Already, at the fringes of the new Eccles to Mandela highway, he said that new hotels, government centres and “beautifully laid out industrial development” are planned.
On the East Coast, expanded roads are expected to provide easy access to forthcoming industrial development at La Bonne Intention (LBI) and Foulis.
And as he invited members of the in-person and virtual audiences to imagine the planned road expansion, President Ali also spoke about the already initiated new Ogle to Eccles highway. He, however, added that there are plans to connect the roadway to Buzz Bee Dam at Craig, EBD, and even further inland.
“…As you look beyond Buzz Bee Dam, you see the initiation of works that opens up even (another) new highway, that goes beyond 2025 that leads you to a new city- Silica City.
“(That) adjoins you to a new highway-freshly paved- that goes all the way to Region 10, adjoining a new highway that takes you to Mabura Hill,” the President said further.
The idea of Silica City, which was born in 2013, proposes a smart, compact, pedestrian-oriented, energy-efficient, interconnected and sustainable, comfortable, attractive and secure environment.
With consultations already ongoing with utility companies, the new city is expected to be developed near the Linden/Soesdyke Highway and will be Guyana’s second city. Presently, the only city is Georgetown, which faces the threat of rising sea levels and flooding.
After laying out what seemed to be his vision for Guyana’s road expansion, the President said, “What I explained to you is not a dream or a fairytale but it is an introduction to Guyana 2025.”