The rehabilitation of the Issano and Karrau to Buckhall roads are major projects being undertaken by the Ministry of Public Infrastructure (MPI) in Region Seven.
According to a release from the Department of Information (DPI), phase one of works on the Issano road are forty percent complete. MPI Hinterland engineer, Jeffrey Walcott explained that the works, which began three months ago will see rehabilitation on 35 miles along the roadway to White Hill, and the upgrading of the sand road to an unpaved laterite road.
The Issano road which runs 75 miles from the Bartica/Potaro road and extends approximately 52 miles to the Issano Landing has deteriorated over the years, making travel arduous, the DPI release said. Walcott said that the ministry is working towards upgrading the stretch of road that runs directly to the landing during the second phase of the project which is expected to commence next year.
According to the DPI release, a contract of $92 million was awarded to Mekdeci Mining Company (MMC) for the rehabilitative works on the thoroughfare.
“The road was a very narrow sand road. Two vehicles couldn’t pass one another on the road and we are trying to widen it to three times the width right now. Current width of the laterite is 21 feet and there is another seven or eight feet of clearing on both sides. Some places [on the road] we are doing is 12 inches thick of laterite“, MMC Executive Director Mark Soares was quoted as saying, in the DPI statement.
According to the DPI press release, a $98 million contract was awarded to International Import and Supplies for the rehabilitation of the Karrau to Buckhall road, to allow residents, miners and loggers easier access between the two communities. The project which began one month ago is 15 percent completed. Walcott pointed out that the MPI’s design department had modified the designs of the four bridges within the Karrau to Buckhall corridor to make them more robust and capable of supporting 40 tons. He added that the roadways are being adjusted to accommodate the bridges which are also being elevated to counteract high water levels during the wet season.