PRESIDENT, Dr. Irfaan Ali, has said that a survey of the route for the West Coast Demerara Highway, which will stretch from the Demerara Harbour Bridge on the West Bank of Demerara (WBD) to Parika, East Bank Essequibo, is almost completed.
This is according to a post on the Head of State’s official Facebook Page, on Wednesday.
The construction of this particular road is merely a component of a much broader plan to modernise the country’s infrastructure, and create myriad alternative and more convenient linkages.
At the centre of those plans, is the intended construction of a new ‘fly-over’ Demerara Harbour Bridge, which will stretch from Nandy Park on the East Bank of Demerara (EBD) to La Grange, WBD.
The new four-lane high-span bridge is scheduled to be completed within three years of the commencement of work, and will replace the existing structure which was built in 1976, over four decades ago.
Both the eastern and western ends of the bridge will benefit from the opening of virgin lands for roads, housing, and plethora of other economic investments. It will also be linked to two super highways, the WBD to Parika carriageway, and a massive link which will run from the Ogle, East Coast Demerara, all the way to Timehri, which is home to the Cheddi Jagan International Airport.
President Ali, following a previous inspection of the path for the new road link, said the highway will open thousands of acres of land for housing, massive agriculture and agro-related projects, and for tourism and other related activities.
The President, during his site visit, was accompanied by Prime Minister Brigadier (ret’d), Mark Phillips; Minister of Public Works, Juan Edghill; Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Deodat Indar; representatives of the Guyana Defence Force and other government officials.
Also included in the team, were local experts who will, in effect, reduce the cost which the government would have incurred had it hired foreign consultants.
The team toured every potential spot for the road alignment, stopping at all the intersections and bridges from Canal No.1 Polder, WBD, all the way to De Kinderen, West Coast Demerara.
But according to President Ali, development will not stop with just the construction of the spanking new highway. As a matter of fact, the new road will also clear a path for the construction of a road from Parika, all the way to Bartica, in Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni).
The potential 56-kilometre road from Parika to Bartica is expected to run along the Del Conte Road on the East Bank of Essequibo to Monkey Jump and then to Bartica.
Additionally, the government has already retailored the Ogle to Diamond bypass road project to conform to the loan which is available to execute the major works. The new four-lane East Coast-East Bank project will extend from Ogle to Haags Bosch, rather than to Diamond.
The government, in a past report, said development is expected on all fronts in 2021, the year of investments and development.
Additionally, private-sector investments are expected to increase along the West Bank of Demerara corridor, stretching from the construction of new shore bases to service the oil-and-gas sector, to new office complexes and other private development projects.
The President anticipates that with increased construction, there will be an increased demand for quarry and construction materials, as well as labour, which will see the creation of thousands of additional jobs.