Linden-Lethem commuters decry condition of road

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first_img…call for urgent Govt interventionNow that the May/June rainy season is here, bus drivers, truckers and the general public commuting on the Linden-Lethem Road are calling on the Government to urgently intervene to repair certain sections of the road, because those sections are impassable and are resulting in vehicles overturning, among other things.Road users are contending that the good parts of the Linden/Lethem road are outnumbered by bad sections. Several of these road users have taken to social media to post photos and complain about the current situation of the road.The truck overboard at the Christmas BridgeSections of the road — at Fairview in Region Nine and Kurupukari in Region Eight — are completely impassible, with the greater part of the road at those sections being inundated by heavy rainfall over the past week.“We have our buses, and we have to spend most of the money we make to maintain the bus because of the road. Right through we sticking up! The bridge them a wash away or break down, and we have to pay more money to get people to pull we out,” bus driver Ramroop (only name) said.The angry man said Government needs to do more to maintain the road, and added that drivers are not opposed to paying an increase in toll in exchange for better roads.He explained that because of the impassible state of the road, vehicle owners are being forced to pay as much as $5,000 at Fairview for villagers to use the village truck to pull their vehicles out of the slush. This payment, he contends, is in addition to tolls and maintenance costs.“By the time we done fix the bus and pay all them money that, we not making any money at all! The Government got to do better than this! Them ah wait until the road bad-bad and nothing can’t do and then them come and will try to fix it. We are the one suffering, not them; because them can afford to fly to Lethem, but what about the poor people?” another driver added.A flooded section of the Kurupukari stretch of roadOn Saturday, a truck driven by Ricky (only name given) reportedly went overboard while crossing the Christmas Bridge. He was attempting to manoeuvre lorry GWW 5832 with a load of sawn lumber across the Christmas Bridge, but ended up toppling into the creek. Ricky reportedly sustained injuries in that mishap.Operators also complained that the condition of the trail is made worse by lumber trucks operating during the wet weather.Efforts to contact Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson for a comment on the issues raised by the drivers proved futile.Minister Patterson had earlier this month said works would soon commence on the construction of a new, single- or dual-lane fixed bridge of approximately 600 metres length at the Kurupukari ferry.Currently, persons traversing the Linden/Lethem trail have to cross the Essequibo River at Kurupukari. They use a privately-operated pontoon service to so do. Kurupukari Village is located along the Lethem–Georgetown trail, about five hours from Lethem.In February of 2017, the Public Infrastructure Ministry had said it was gearing to commence construction of the first phase of the Linden-Lethem Road project, which will be funded through the United Kingdom Government under its UK Caribbean Infrastructure Partnership Fund (UKCIF) programme.In September 2015, former UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced a £300 million investment in vital new infrastructure, such as roads, bridges and ports, to help drive economic growth and development across the Caribbean region. Guyana was named among nine Caribbean states to benefit from the grant.The first phase of the project spans from Linden to Mabura, and covers approximately 122.5 kilometres of road and the construction of the bridge across the Essequibo River at Kurupukari.Budget 2018 provides $1.5B for hinterland roads rehabilitation as well as the completion of all rollover projects.last_img

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