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The contract for the first 125 kilometers of the Linden to Lethem Road which will stretch from Linden to Mabura Hill will be signed in the last quarter of 2021 to the tune of approximately US $190M. This was announced by Minister of Public Works, Juan Edghill during the commissioning of the new Washerpond Road in Linden on Tuesday.
“That contract is at the final procurement stage — prequalification, price proposals, awards. We’ve already had the pre-qualifications that were advertised. A number of companies have been shortlisted and as soon as the Caribbean Development Bank gives approval of those shortlisted counties, price proposals and final evaluation [will take place] and that is for 2021,” Edghill said.
The project is the first phase of a wider plan to develop a transportation corridor from Georgetown to Lethem on the southwest border thereby connecting Georgetown with northern Brazil. The entire stretch of road will be an asphaltic, concrete, all-weather road.
It is being funded by a US$112-million loan from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), a grant of £50 million (US$66 million) from the Government of the United Kingdom through the CDB-administered United Kingdom Caribbean Infrastructure Fund (UK CIF), and a contribution of US$12 million from the Government of Guyana.
President of the CDB Dr. Hyginus ‘Gene’ Leon visited Guyana on Friday, July 9 for a two-day visit which marked his first official visit to the country since taking up leadership of the Bank in May 2021. Minister Edghill said that while in the country, Dr. Leon was given an aerial tour of the alignment of the road and what is to be expected.
In 2020, CDB project approvals in Guyana included US$ 9.9 million for the construction of a modern Hospitality Training Institute and US$ 190 million for upgrading 121 kilometres of roadway from Linden to Mabura Hill – the largest ever project in the Bank’s history.
The unpaved 450-kilometre road from Linden to Lethem is often impassable in the rainy season due to flooding along low-lying sections of the road. The upgraded road corridor will provide year-round connectivity between Linden and Mabura Hill, improving conditions for local and long-haul transport which can increase trade between Guyana and Brazil.
In addition, residents in the remote communities along the Linden to Mabura Hill corridor will see immediate benefits from improved access to basic essential services and an expansion in economic activity. The project will also bolster ecotourism along the corridor by improving access to several nature reserves, such as the Iwokrama RainForest.