Heavy floods wash away section of Mabura-to-Lethem Road
With the collapse of a section of the Linden-Mabura roadway, which is an important part of the corridor used to transport persons and goods in and out of Lethem, the Government will be working around the clock to get the road fixed.
This is according to Public Works Minister Juan Edghill, who acknowledged that the road is an important link between Linden and Lethem. As such, he assured that no effort would be spared to get the road back up and running.
“It’s an important link. We gotta make sure we get fuel and so on into Lethem. To keep power and supply going. We gotta ensure that goods are getting into the interior area. So we’re sparing no effort to getting it fixed,” the Minister said.
The Minister also released a statement where it was explained that the Public Works Ministry received reports on Friday afternoon that the Mile 42 Culvert of the Linden Mabura corridor had washed away.
“This washout was as a result of exceptionally heavy rainfall which caused the natural waterway which runs below the road to swell. The high volume and pressure overwhelmed the multiple lower-level culverts and then subsequently started overtopping the roadway, eventually taking the entire section with it.”
According to the Ministry, a team was dispatched to the site on Saturday to assess the situation and come up with a solution to allow for traffic to be restored. Additionally, a boat was provided on site since Friday by a nearby resident that would continue to shuttle passengers who were initially stranded by the washout, while contractor Mekdeci Machinery & Construction Inc will be conducting emergency repairs.
It was also noted that four contractors were engaged for the provision of Emergency Works and the Ministry opted to go with MMC to replace the culverts.
“The contractor has indicated that the mobilisation of materials and equipment is already in progress.”
The unpaved 450-kilometre road from Linden to Lethem has been at the centre of many woes, due to its impassable state in the rainy season, and moreover, flooding along low-lying sections of the road.
It was announced in December of last year that the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) had approved funding for the road project spanning 121 kilometres from Linden to Mabura Hill – the first phase of the much-anticipated construction of a Linden-Lethem Road connectivity.
The US$190 million project is being funded by a US$112 million loan from CDB, a grant of £50 million from the United Kingdom Government through the CDB-administered United Kingdom Caribbean Infrastructure Fund; and a contribution of US$12 million from the Government of Guyana.
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.
Along with the improved road network, 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 is also expected to bolster eco-tourism along the corridor by improving access to several nature reserves, such as the Iwokrama Rainforest. (G3)