Entire Eccles to Diamond highway on schedule for December opening- Croal
Though initially expected to be reopened on Friday, works are still ongoing on two outstanding lots of the Eccles to Diamond four-lane highway and are expected to be completed by the end of November.
This is according to Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal, who told the News Room on Thursday that the entire highway is expected to be commissioned in December.
Earlier this month, a two-week notice of closure was issued for two roads; Providence Access Road also known as ‘Red Road’ and Mocha Access Road. This is to accommodate works that will see these two roads being joined to the highway.
That aspect of the project should already be completed but Croal said works, including the building of bridges, are still ongoing.
“There are only two lots to be completed and we are pushing to have them completed by the end of the month… The two lots are to connect Lots One to Two in the vicinity of Red Road. That will be completed in time for the end of this month. A lot of work is ongoing to connect that area. There are doing the bridge to connect that road,” Croal said.
He added, “The other area is Mocha and that is to connect Lots Three to Four. In the coming week that will be completed. They are doing the final works in terms of being able to connect that area.”
Overall, Croal guaranteed that the entire Eccles to Diamond Four-Lane Highway will be commissioned in time for the Christmas season, to further alleviate traffic congestion on the East Bank of Demerara.
“In all, we will be ready for completion by the end of this month and so with certainty I can say for an early December we will be opening the Four- Lane Highway. Just a little more patience…I am sure…by December and Christmas you will be traversing the four-lane,” Croal noted.
The contract for the $13 billion project was awarded to 12 contractors in December 2021.
The project was slated to be completed within 18 months, which would have been by April 2023.
However, by then, a number of issues arose. The contractor for one of the lots was terminated and some settlers from Mocha had to be relocated, hence the delay.
The four-lane Highway forms part of the alternative East Bank Demerara road link which is expected to significantly reduce traffic congestion on the East Bank corridor.
“It’s alot of investment the government is making not just for housing and other social needs but also to provide other access as well as to address some of the congestion that we have, the build up in traffic and this is all part of the integrated road networking that we are speaking about,” Croal said.