The recent damage along two sections of the Linden-Soesdyke Highway caused by washouts is expected to be fixed by the end of the week, head of the Ministry of Public Infrastructure’s Work Services Group Geoffrey Vaughn says.
Vaughn told Stabroek News that the issue is currently engaging the attention of the ministry, which is currently working on contracting a company to do the repairs.
Washouts are breaches caused by flooding.
Vaughn, who noted that the repairs should be done by the end of the week, said that as part of the ministry’s ongoing annual maintenance programme, all main thoroughfares, including the Linden-Soesdyke Highway, are regularly maintained.
While extensive works for the highway were promised a while ago, they cannot commence without the completion of a study, which has not yet started.
Meanwhile, Linden Mayor Carwyn Holland also related that he was told that some $40 million has been budgeted for the road’s repairs.
He said that it is in need of urgent work.
“There’s also an urgent need for lighting and reflectors, whichever way the engineers choose to go. There is a need for something to make travelling safer on that highway because currently it is dangerous. Travelling, especially at night, can be dangerous and then you find with persons now looking to develop along the highway, they are destroying even the curb wall so that they can drive in their vehicles,” Holland said.
He added that while he believes there should be a comprehensive plan of works for the highway, immediate works are paramount.
Region Ten Chairman Renis Morian has also called for extensive repairs to be done on the highway. He had also highlighted that there is a need for systems to be put in place to prevent large trucks from driving over the curb walls and parking during the nights.
Morian has said that heavy trucks that usually drive over the curb wall is one of the main causes for the frequent collapses on the side of the highway. “The people who run sand trucks and who turn off of the highway are destroying it because they drive over the curb wall and once that breaks the water will get it. The trucks that are driving off the highway and going into sand pits are doing great damage and it’s left to the ministry to be repairing over and over again,” Morian stressed, while stating that he will urge the ministry to put up signs and put other systems in place to restrict the trucks from turning.
He pointed out that sometimes the trucks park two wheels off and two wheels on the highway, which also causes a fair amount of damage.
Holland said there is a need for increased police patrols along the highway in order to ensure that large trucks and other vehicles are not parking along the road sides.