In a bid to improve the flow of traffic in Region Four, two more roundabouts will be constructed, Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson announced yesterday as the Kitty Roundabout was officially opened.
Speaking at the opening ceremony yesterday, Patterson also announced plans for the development of the waterfront area along the seawall from the Kitty Pump Station to the Pegasus Hotel at Kingston.
“There’s a saying that when you take the first olive out of the jar, the rest comes out easy because it’s tightly packed. This roundabout is exactly that. It is the first but during the course of this year, and next year, there will be two additional roundabouts in equally important areas,” Patterson said.
He disclosed that a roundabout will be constructed at the Timehri, East Bank Demerara Junction and the $74 million contract has already been awarded to Gaico construction and General Services. The third roundabout will be constructed at the Sheriff Street, East Coast Embankment Road junction and it is being done as part of the Sheriff Street-Mandela Avenue road upgrade and expansion project.
Patterson also told those gathered for the opening, including Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, Minister of Public Telecommunications Cathy Hughes and Minister within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure Annette Ferguson, that the construction of the roundabout and the others are part of the ministry’s Road Improvement Programme.
“…I want to say quickly that we have a few exciting things remaining for 2018 and right now… we will be receiving 1,600 brand new LED street lights. I’m pleased to say the first batch has arrived and we will commence installing them shortly,” Patterson also announced.
He explained that the first batch of street lights will be used to provide lighting for Wakenaam within the next six weeks, as well as from Supenaam to Anna Regina, all in Region Two; and from Vreed-en-Hoop to Nouvelle Flanders and from Meten-meer-Zorg to Plantain Walk in Region Three. He added that in Region Four, the Bourda Market Square, which has long been forgotten, will be lit up along with the entire stretch of the Aubrey Barker Road in South Ruimveldt.
Ithaca will also receive street lights for the first time as well as the D’Edward Village, both in Region Five. He said Mackenzie and Wismar, in Region Ten, are also set to receive some 200 street lights, as would Palmyra village in Region Six.
Patterson also explained that they will also be using thermoplastic painting stripes throughout the country to reflect light at night.
“We are going around to restripe the country and we hope it will aid our drivers at nights,” he said.
He also explained that the construction of the Kitty roundabout is part of a more complex plan of developing the area, which started with the upgrade of Carifesta Avenue.
The thoroughfare was expanded by construction firm H Nauth and Sons and a median was installed at a total cost of $147 million. Lights were also erected by Dynamic Engineering at a cost of $35.8 million.
“The first piece of the puzzle was the upgrade of Carifesta Avenue… When we developed Carifesta Avenue, at that time I said it was just one part of our vision for this area. On completion of that the next part of the puzzle was replacing all the pipework under where we are sitting,” he said, referencing repair works to the underground drainage system, which was completed last year by construction firm Colin Talbot Contracting Services after a large sinkhole had developed next to the Kitty Pump Station.
He said that after those works were completed, the next part of the puzzle was the continuation of the East Coast road upgrade project.
“Then we arrived at this, our roundabout we are about to open. It was done by S Jagmohan [Hardware Supplies and] Construction Service for $79 million and this once again is only piece of the puzzle was we continue to develop this unique area,” Patterson said.
He pointed out that there are still works that have to be completed on the roundabout, which include the landscaping of the centre, which is to feature flowers from various Caribbean countries and will be done through a public-private partnership.
Patterson also related that traffic lights will be installed at the roundabout, while curbs and other areas around the structure are to be painted.
A final stage project, which he said he considers as the “crowning project,” will be the waterfront development. “The consultancy has been awarded and we expect the first report around October and that will give us a full scoping of what’s possible, the cost. And it has to be green. We have to look at waste management, sewage disposal… and we didn’t want to rush it,” Patterson said.
The developed area is expected to feature commercial spaces and the ministry is hoping that it can start the project before the year ends, with a completion date of sometime in 2019.
At the opening event, a demonstration of how to use the roundabout effectively was done by the Ministry of Public Infra-structure and the Guyana Police Force. Persons desirous of learning how to use the roundabout can visit the ministry’s Facebook page for educational videos.
Patterson also said that there will be a police presence at the roundabout for the first few months to assist motorists on how to correctly use it.