Paving works have begun between Better Hope and Montrose on the East Coast Highway road upgrade and widening project and have made significant progress which will assist in alleviating the congestion that has plagued road users daily.
The paving works from Better Hope started last month and have made significant progress as the northern section of the carriageway from Better Hope to Montrose has been completely paved and opened.
Vehicles have already started using the massive two-lane carriageway which now allows traffic to flow freely.
With the northern section almost completed, the contractor – China Railway First Group Company Limited – has started paving works on the southern section.
The northern carriageway’s new asphaltic paving works also stretches beyond Montrose and runs to Felicity.
Technical Services Manager for roads, Nigel Erskine, from the Ministry of Public Infrastructure had explained that when the paving starts and is completely on the approximately 2 km stretch of road from Better Hope to Montrose, traffic congestion would be greatly decreased.
“I feel once the paving works start you will see a lot of ease in terms of the build-up of traffic because you can go at higher speeds. Currently, overall, it’s at 40% completely but works are only going on the four-lane section which is about 70% completed. We’re working towards substantial completion by the end of the year and I mean that most of the paving works for the four-lane section should be at 90% and just minor works will be left,” he had added.
While drivers and residents have complained about the poor management of traffic along the construction site, Erskine had explained that measures were put in place to ensure that more signage and flagmen were placed along the road to ensure the free flow of traffic.
Work on the project began last year August and is expected to be completed by August 2019. The project will see the widening of the carriageway from a two-lane road into four lanes between Better Hope and Annandale. After Annandale there will be an asphaltic concrete surface upgrade up to Belfield.
The project will result in 26 structures being widened to enable the four-lane road and two bridges will also be built to facilitate the road’s expansion. Additionally, 11 traffic light signals will be installed at various intersections, along with street lights, road safety signs and other speed reduction devices.
The contract was awarded to China Railway First Group Company Limited to the tune of US$46,995,941.34, with funding from the Government of Guyana and the Export-Import Bank of China.