Emergency work on key stretch of Lethem road completed

An overhead shot of the repaired stretch (MPI photo)

Emergency work on the Hunt Oil Stretch has successfully been completed and, as of Friday afternoon, traffic flow along the key route into Region Nine had resumed as per normal, a release from the Ministry of Public Infrastructure (MPI) said yesterday.

Following reports of the deterioration of the stretch due to prolonged rainfall, the release said that MPI moved to have the situation remedied as quickly as possible. The efforts included the hauling of laterite from more than 20 kilometres away to ensure the sourcing of quality material.

The release said that the contractor, JR Ranch Inc., revealed that sections at the side of the roadway before the very bad areas were first filled to create turnaround spots for the trucks due to the road’s narrowness. Three areas along the stretch were also filled and compacted. In addition, an excavator was used to form two cofferdams at the sides of the eroded spot in an effort to remove all accumulated slush and water prior to filling and compaction.

The release said that the Ministry and the contractor will continue to monitor the stretch of road. The poor condition of the road had restricted the flow of supplies into Lethem including fuel. At one point Lethem was considering accessing fuel from Brazil.

The Ministry said that, a maintenance programme under its Hinterland Department will soon be coming on-stream to repair a number of corridors, including those from Linden-Lethem; Ituni-Kwakwani; and Mabura-Mahdia. This programme is slated to last for one year.


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