The Government of Guyana has budgeted $136.1B for the enhancement of a number of road and bridge networks across the country including some $10.3B to accelerate the construction of the East Coast–East Bank Road link from Ogle to Eccles.
In presenting the National Budget to the National Assembly today, Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh, said the East Coast-East Bank Road Linkage marks the first phase of a four-lane highway intended ultimately to link the East Coast of Demerara and the Soesdyke-Linden Highway.
Additionally, approximately $11.9B has been set aside to advance the construction of the Linden-Mabura Hill Road. “Works are ongoing on the first phase of the highway to link Linden to Lethem, as well as on 45 concrete bridges along the route, with planned acceleration in 2023,” Minister Singh told the House.
Noting that the Government is also committed to linking major urban, rural and hinterland communities to provide easy, safe and reliable access and commute, the Finance Minister told the House that $27.7B has been budgeted for the upgrading and widening of the Corentyne Highway from Palmyra to Crabwood Creek.
Further, $16.6B has been allocated in the 2023 Budget to upgrade the East Coast Railway Embankment Road into a four-lane highway from Sheriff Street to Orange Nassau and continuing to the Mahaica River Bridge, continuation of the upgrade of the East Coast Highway from Belfield to Orange Nassau, and construction of a second bridge across the Hope Canal.
Another $4.1B has been budgeted for the upgrade of the East Bank Highway from Prospect to Timehri.
“Preparatory works have started including the clearing of the right of way between Diamond and Good Success and construction of an alternate bypass road through Diamond and Grove. Financing has been secured and construction works will begin in 2023,” he told the House.
Another $5B has also been budgeted for the rehabilitation of the Linden-Soesdyke Highway.
The Finance Minister noted that while it is Government’s intention to construct a new bridge across the Demerara River in Linden to replace the existing Mackenzie/Wismar Bridge, negotiations regarding financing are still ongoing. The situation is the same for the proposed construction of the Kurukupuri Crossing Bridge.
He told the House that Government, in 2023, will also be expanding the network of secondary roads that link villages, communities and towns to ease congestion and create alternative routes. Similarly, he said Government will be investing in several farm to market access roads that will open vast new lands and link to markets for commercial and industrial activities.
It was pointed out that Government will be developing the Parika to Goshen route and the Sand Hills to Makouria link with the use of some $500M. An additional $218M has been set aside for the construction of the Ituni to Tacama road in the intermediate savannah, to support agricultural ventures in corn and soya production.
Turning his attention to major bridge networks, the Finance Minister told the House that $5.2B has been set aside to advance the construction of the New Demerara River Bridge – the first high span, four-lane permanent hybrid concrete and cable-stayed structure.
He disclosed too that $675M is allocated in Budget 2023 for an ocean-going ferry that will ply the Georgetown to Northwest route. The ferry, he noted, has been completed and has departed India en route to Guyana. It is expected to arrive in Port Georgetown early this year.
“Mr. Speaker, finally, recognising how critical local community roads and streets are to ease of access and quality of life for our citizens, we have embarked on a major upgrade of community roads. To this end, a total of $41.2 billion was spent in 2022. In 2023, we have budgeted $38.5 billion to construct, rehabilitate and maintain community roads, particularly in underserved areas,” he told the House.
Also $5B has been set aside to upgrade of roads in the hinterland.
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