The Guyana government this afternoon inked a contract for the construction of the first phase of the long-awaited road link between the East Coast and East Bank of Demerara. The phase covers from Ogle on the East Coast to Eccles on the East Bank of Demerara.
The US$106m contract will be executed by the Indian company Ashoka construction.
Describing the project as being part of the government’s infrastructure master plan, the Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Deodat Indar said the intent of the road is to reduce traffic congestion in the city.
“As you know the traffic in the country, the volume is becoming more and more so we are addressing that from a long-term planning perspective. This project although it fits part of connecting the East Coast to the East Bank so that persons who want to go the airport don’t have to go through the city they can take an alternative route,” Indar said.
Given the specifics of the project, Indar said the project would see the construction of a 7.8-kilometer four-lane road, with each lane being 3.6 meters wide. Additionally, he said, the road will also have sidewalks and other structures.
Minister of Public Works, Juan Edghill in delivering remarks at the signing ceremony also boasted of the investment, calling the project a transformational one. According to the Public Works Minister, the road, when completed will be a game-changer.
“With the building of this four-lane, in the first instance to connect at the Haags Bosch road and then to get further into Diamond and then further into the airport, will see us being able to open up new lands, when new lands are open, its more lands for housing, agriculture….so, I will repeat what I said in the budget debates: you cannot eat roads but roads make us eat,” Edghill said.
Also delivering remarks was Minister of Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh. He said the road project must not be viewed in isolation but as part of the government’s plan to develop Guyana and provide relief to citizens.
“This Ogle four-lane road is not a standalone project in isolation of what is happening in the rest of the country, in fact, if you put together the new bridge across the Demerara River, the road Lethem, the six additional lanes that we are opening up along the East Bank corridor and other projects that are yet to be announced,” the Finance Minister said.
The Exim Bank of India has extended a concessional line of credit of US$50M towards the project.