$13.3B Eccles to Diamond 4-lane highway to open next month – Min Croal

The Eccles to Diamond four-lane highway on the East Bank of Demerara (EBD) is scheduled to be officially opened in December, according to Housing and Water Minister Collin Croal.
The road, stretching from the Eccles Dumpsite Road to Diamond, was constructed at a cost of $13.3 billion and was awarded to 12 contractors in December 2021.
“[The road] will be open by the second week of December. Initially, it was from Eccles to Great Diamond, and then we extended it from Great Diamond to Diamond [Housing Scheme] …So that will be the stretch that will be commissioned,” Croal explained.
The project had an 18-month timeline to be completed and included the construction of more than 30 reinforced concrete bridges, two roundabouts, and a total of 9.4 kilometres of reinforced concrete road.
The first phase of the four-lane road, from Mandela Avenue to Eccles Road, was commissioned last year, and a total of $2.6 billion was invested in the initial phase of the project.
In September this year, President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali commissioned the Eccles/Haags Bosch roundabout which connects the Mandela Avenue to Eccles stretch of the road. That roundabout connects four areas – Georgetown, Ogle (East Coast Demerara), Eccles and Peters Hall (East Bank Demerara).
Contracts totalling $11 billion have already been awarded to advance the thoroughfare from Diamond to Buzz Bee Dam, Craig. The details of the project are yet to be revealed.
This four-lane road project is a result of efforts by the President Dr Irfaan Ali-led Government to ease traffic congestion on the East Bank, which not only leads to the country’s main port of entry – the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) – but also fields traffic coming from West Demerara.
These projects run alongside the India-funded bypass road project which would link the East Bank Demerara corridor to the East Coast of Demerara (ECD), creating a new highway in the backlands.
The Indian Government had provided a US$50 million Line of Credit (LoC) for the road link that was initially slated for Ogle, ECD, to Diamond. Under the previous Government, however, the project was at a standstill for several years.
Having taken office in 2020, the People’s Progressive Party Administration has since redesigned the project into three phases to fit the LoC. President Irfaan Ali has notified that approximately eight interconnecting roads are likely to be built between Eccles and Diamond, to connect old and new highways.
In Budget 2022, an allocation of $2.1 billion was made for the widening and paving of the East Bank highway from Grove to Timehri. In January 2023, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved some US$100 million to commence the Diamond/Grove to Timehri Road project.
Significant investments are particularly being made in advancing the road network to provide better access between the East Bank and East Coast of Demerara, and soon, the two districts will become better integrated into one big city.