There will be minimum maintenance for next two decades when work on Agriculture Road is finished

Dear Editor,

I respond to the letter penned by Rev Gideon Cecil under the caption ‘Work on Agriculture Road is not being properly done’, published in your Friday, July 21, 2017 edition.

For the benefit of the Reverend and the general public, please be informed that the rehabilitation of Agriculture Road, Mon Repos/ Triumph, is being undertaken by the Ministry of Public Infrastructure under its Miscellaneous Roads Programme, 2017. The Contractor is K P Thomas and Sons Incorporated, the Project Engineer is Anthony A Haynes, the contract sum is $59,031,149 and the site extends a distance of approximately 1230m. Carriageway works include the upgrading of the road structure with mixed loam and/or crusher run and sealing using asphaltic concrete. The contract is scheduled to end in September of 2017.

Based on the content and tone of his missive, Rev Gideon Cecil purports to have excellent knowledge of road construction and would have been on the site with the current contractor for the duration of the contract, which commenced on July 6, 2017. His forecast, I suppose, emanates from his experiences over the last two decades, when shoddy construction and poor supervision was the order of the day.

However, the Reverend’s description of the execution of the works is incorrect. Agriculture Road, having been initially constructed in the early 1960s, is older than Independent Guyana. While the surface of the road was in a very poor state, due to poor drainage caused by residents encumbering the road shoulders, the road base remained in an impeccable state. At the moment, the focus is on upgrading the worst stretch of the carriageway, that is, between the East Coast Demerara Highway and the Access to Block ‘CC’ Housing Scheme. It should be noted that while there were numerous potholes within this section, none of those holes exceed 200mm in depth nor did any of them exceed the existing loam fill in the road structure. To allow for safe, unimpeded construction, an access road was constructed to divert traffic from the critical area through Khan Street, Triumph. The construction procedure being followed is to remove excessive vegetation and other encumbrances from the road shoulders, remove deleterious materials from the carriageway, reshape/scarify potholed areas and use mixed loam fill/crusher-run to fill depressed areas. Subsequent to the relevant quality control procedures, that section of the works will be paved. The works that are required south of the Access to Block ‘CC’ Housing Scheme will be executed in like manner, subsequent to the completion of the initial area.

To allay the fears of Rev Cecil, it should be pointed out that the current road structure has successfully carried the loads of the construction traffic for the two housing schemes located along the Access Road since 1997. Contrary to his prophecy of doom, the current intervention shall enhance an already tried and proven road structure, resulting in a finished product that will be there for the next two decades, with minimum maintenance. That being said, I would like to invite the Reverend to use his influence to encourage the residents not to encumber the road shoulders with their land fill/construction materials or other solid waste. We at the Ministry of Public Infrastructure would also be willing to provide more information on the project, if necessary, and we encourage Rev Cecil, and the public at large, to help us monitor our projects.

Yours faithfully,

Anthony A Haynes

Project Engineer

Works Services Group

Ministry of Public Infrastructure

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