Asphalt highway from Linden to Lethem definite as American standard concrete bridges being built

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With the construction of four dozen American standard concrete bridges stretching from Linden to Lethem, the long-held promise of a highway from the city to the border town of Lethem is finally becoming a reality.  

With construction already underway on the Linden, Region Ten (Upper Demerara – Berbice) to Mabura Hill road, the government intends on extending the asphaltic thoroughfare all the way to Lethem, Region Nine (Upper Takutu – Upper Essequibo).

This is according to Minister of Public Works, Juan Edghill, who during a recent interview with News Room noted that with the contracts to upgrade the bridges from Mabura Hill to Lethem already awarded, the road will follow.

“Government has gone out with the first phase of putting in AASHTO [American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials] standard concrete bridges and you don’t spend that kind of money not to put in a quality road. So the bridges first, the road is coming,” Edghill said.

Minister of Public Works, Juan Edghill (Photo: News Room/December 30, 2022)

Several contracts valuing approximately $2.4 billion were awarded in December, 2022 to upgrade 13 bridges from Mabura Hill to Kurupukari while contracts valuing $3.1 billion were awarded in May, 2022 for the rehabilitation of 32 bridges along the Kurupukari – Lethem corridor.

The government also in May, 2022 signed a US$190 million contract with Brazilian company – Construtora Queiroz Galvao S.A. – for the construction of the 121 kilometres long, 7.2 metres wide carriageway Linden to Mabura road.

Edghill related that the company has since imported over 100 pieces of equipment, hired over 100 personnel from Region 10 and already commenced actual construction on the road.

“We have the consultancy in place that is supervising the work, my project team from the Ministry is there with them and the work is ongoing,” Edghill said.

Currently, travellers journeying from Linden to Lethem are required to stop at the Kurupukari Crossing, Region Eight (Potaro – Siparuni) and await a pontoon to be transported across the river before continuing their journey to Lethem.

However, Edghill noted that the government is bridging the Kurupukari Crossing to make the entire road a 24-hour road from Linden to Lethem.

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