His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali has said the Government will be utilising the services of local experts, as it prepares for the construction of a new 12-mile, four-lane highway on the West Bank Demerara (WBD).
The new highway will link the proposed site for the new Demerara Harbour Bridge on the WBD and Parika on the East Bank Essequibo.
President Ali on Saturday led a team of local engineers from the Ministry of Public Works and the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), along with other experts, on a site tour for the project.
“We are going to put together a local team. When you talk about local content, we have the army here, the Ministry of Public Works, [Guyana]based engineers, GIS specialists and the private sector – local knowledge. We are bringing them together to commence the conceptual work in laying out this new highway,” President Ali said.
The project which should begin in the coming weeks, is expected to ease traffic congestion in the area. Guyanese will also see benefits in the housing, agriculture, business and tourism sectors.
Ministry of Public Works Roads and Bridges Officer, Mr. Ron Rahaman, said the President’s inclusion of young engineers and technicians demonstrates his trust in the local workforce.
“We are very happy to see the President going along that route. From the standpoint of the Ministry of Public Works, we have been designing roads long […] At this point, we do have the capacity to show that we can do the groundwork for this project and I am very happy to hear the President said he has put his trust in the locals to have this project up and running,” Mr. Rahaman said.
Meanwhile, GDF Chief of Staff, Brigadier Godfrey Bess, said the Force has always been involved in Guyana’s development.
Brigadier Gary Beaton, an engineer, will be leading the army’s involvement in the upcoming project.
“As part of the plan to support the Government of Guyana in infrastructure development, I will be part of the planning team and the execution we will be deploying men and machinery to aid in the construction,” he said.
Prime Minister Brigadier (ret’d) Mark Phillips; Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill and Minister, Deodat Indar also participated in the tour.