Construction work on the new Leguan Stelling in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) is slated to commence next year, according to the Public Infrastructure Ministry.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Ministry noted that this project is in keeping with its national commitments.
Residents and passengers in Leguan are being assured that during the construction period of the project, there will be no change to the existing vessel schedules.
“At this time, all arrangements are therefore being finalised by the Ministry to ensure that there are no disruptions to the current operations at Leguan, and to further facilitate a smooth construction period for the provision of this new stelling
to residents and commuters,” the Public Infrastructure Ministry posited.
Back in July, the Ministry announced that the dilapidated stelling was on the list for pending rehabilitative works. Then in September, Government revealed that a contract, to the tune of $413.2 million, was awarded to Maraj Contracting Services.
This project comes on the heels of outcry from residents on the island in the Essequibo River on the state of the facility. In fact, Guyana Times visited Leguan in July, one week before the Ministry’s announcement, where residents were up in arms over the condition of the stelling among other things on the island.
The timber planks supporting the stelling have rotted, making residents fearful since heavy vehicles traverse the stelling. In addition, the decking is loose and uneven, with rails hanging on to literally nothing at certain sections on the ramp.
At that time, an outspoken resident, Hans Buer, had indicated that the issue was raised with Minister Patterson on several occasions, which resulted in the Minister responding to him on social media promising to have it fixed. Buer said the stelling has been in that deplorable state for over one and a half years and was rapidly deteriorating, but no system was being put in place to have it addressed.
The residents also indicated that a concrete-post and wood-decking stelling served no purpose; hence, they were calling for a fully concrete stelling, noting that it would last longer with little to no repairs.
“Laden vehicles cannot use the lower ramp because it will fall out. The decking is unlevelled. You can fall. When the boat come in at nights, it is horrible, because the stelling has no lights, passengers fall over the little rails and some of the boards on the decking have holes,” Buer noted.
Guyana Times was also told that in addition to the loose decking and rotten posts, the lower ramp used to load laden vehicles onto the ferry was in such a deplorable state that vehicles were unable to access it.
Vehicles have to wait until the tide is high enough for them to access the high ramp to load or offload, which affects the business community, since critical goods could not be delivered in time and farmers’ produce would perish.