The Bartica Town Council has taken up the challenge to create a road plan for the Cuyuni-Mazaruni (Region 7), after an announcement from Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson that the roadways will soon be tolled.
According to a release from the Department of Public Information (DPI), the minister made the announcement after an inspection of the hinterland projects, during a trip to the region last Friday.
That trip was attended by officials from the ministries of Public Infrastructure and Finance, who visited for a first-hand look at the two main crossings linking Mahdia and Bartica.
Other ongoing works in the region include work to the road from Mahdia to the Denham Bridge and the stretch from Mile 78 on the Bartica-Potaro trail to Mile 96 (Cassandra Crossing). It was noted from the trip that work also needs to be done on the Amaila Falls Road, which is heavily-traversed by trucks from gold company, Troy Resources.
Patterson stated that the funds gathered from the toll booths would be used toward the maintenance and sustainability of the road network, and encouraged the town council to create a road plan, urging them to work along with the ministry. The tolls would be implemented following the completion of the road projects.
Mayor of Bartica Gifford Marshall was on board with the idea, as was the Regional Chairman of the region, Gordon Bradford, the release said.
Bradford opined that the initiative was vital for the upkeep of the road network and noted that tolling was a strategy used in previous years within the region, stating that it had aided in the preservation of several roads which lead to Mahdia.
Marshall indicated that the Council has for some time, been considering tolling the roadways.
It was stated that Marshall committed to drafting a road plan at the next statutory meeting of the Council, before presenting same to the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) for approval, and then sharing the plan with the Ministry of Infrastructure.