AS part of the overarching plan of the government to develop and upgrade infrastructure across the country, the Ministry of Public works has set aside some $938 million for major road works in several hinterland communities in Regions One (Barima-Waini), Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) and Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo). Minister of Public Works, Juan Edghill, in an invited comment on Tuesday, said that the scheduled road upgrades are part of the government’s roadmap for growth and advancement in the local economy.
He said the impending work will significantly improve the standard of living of residents who reside in the targetted communities. Upgrades to the road networks will also provide opportunities for improved commerce and innovation across the hinterland.
In Region One, rehabilitative work will be done on Compound road Mabaruma ($119.2 million); Moruca Main access road ($116 million); Central Kaituma to Oronoque Road ($111 million); Mabaruma to Hosororo Road ($142.6 million); and internal roads at Manwarin and Santa Rosa ($50.3 million).
Rehabilitative work is also slated for Region Seven on the Bartica road network to the tune of $119.5 million.
Similarly in Region 9, Rehabilitative work will be done on internal roads at St. Ignatius ($124 million) and from Karasabai to Yarong Paru/ Monkey Mountain Road ($110.5 million).
Minister Edghill explained that these rehabilitative works will involve the construction of new concrete roads as a way to modernise the infrastructure and provide a more accessible commute to and from those communities.
He noted that some of those communities will also get a temporary road system to reopen several roads that were previously impassible.
“We are moving towards putting in rigid pavements which is what you call concrete roads, so Mabaruma is concrete road, some concrete road will be going in the Moruca area continuing the 500-meter concrete road we did last year, we will do some more this year and then for some of the roads, there will be improvement in grade and shape and laterite surfaces. So, we would have selected these roads for work because we are aware that they require immediate interventions,” Edghill said.
Underscoring the importance of these impending road upgrades, Minister Edghill said that easier access to communities essentially means a decreased cost of living.
He noted that one of the road upgrades being undertaken in Region Nine was strategically selected as it serves as a connecting road between Regions Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) and Nine.
This, he said, would be beneficial to business persons, residents and persons who traverse between the two regions.
“One of the most notable benefits of these and any road upgrades are that it will reduce travel time; persons can expect to get to and from their destinations more safely and with less hassle. At present some of these roads are impassible but with these upgrades persons would be able to traverse them with their ATVs, their tractors and any other forms of transportation. “So, business persons can expect to use less fuel to get their produce in these communities and that would benefit them; they in turn can reduce the cost attached to items and that would benefit the residents,” Minister Edghill said.
Further, he explained that this type of connective road work is a critical part of the government’s plan to achieve its aim of connecting the hinterland communities and providing those communities access to resources that would foster innovation and growth.
Currently, bids to undertake these rehabilitative works are being sought by the Ministry of Public Works.