Motorists, commuters lament state of West Demerara Public Road
Guyana Chronicle
June 7, 2004

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Motorists and commuters are complaining bitterly about the deplorable state of the West Demerara Public Road - a situation, which is causing severe damage to vehicles while posing a dangerous traffic hazard.

A large group of both motorists and commuters who spoke with the Chronicle recently were critical about the long period of time the roadway has been in disrepair without any attempt by the authorities to do any repairs.

They also expressed surprise that the Regional officials, including the Regional Chairman, traverse the road daily but apparently have not seen it fit to make effective representation to the Ministry of Works and Communications to carry out repairs.

One driver, in explaining the financial woes he has experienced as a result of the deplorable state of the road, disclosed that he was forced to spend over $50,000 for repairs to the chassis and suspension of his vehicle, which was damaged after dropping into one of the holes. Another driver complained that a new tyre, which he had put on just days before, burst as a result of hazardous condition of the roadway.

Other vehicle owners related similar calamities.

The group pinpointed several areas along the road, which are in a hazardous state. These include Vreed-en-Hoop, Crane, Harlem, Anna Catherina, Leonora, Uitvlugt and Meten-Meer-Zorg.

In addition, the group said it is the norm that ditches, which had been dug across the roadway to facilitate installation of pipelines or telephone cables, are left unfilled after completion of the projects. Typical examples of this, they said, are existing ditches at Stewartville, Leonora, Anna Catherina and Vreed-en-Hoop. In the case of the latter, the ditch has been there for nearly two years.

The group welcomed the announcement by the Ministry of Works and Communications that the roadway would be resurfaced, but in the meantime they are calling for temporary 'patch-work' to be done to alleviate the severe inconvenience and danger encountered by road-users.

The group complained, too, about the slow pace of the construction of a new bridge at Boeraserie. This project began since last year, when the old bridge was dismantled. The construction is causing unusually long delays in traffic at peak hours.

Meanwhile, residents of Uitvlugt are outraged that the authorities seem to be unmindful of the atrocious state of the Uitvlugt Estate access road, which has been in this condition for the past five years.

The road is used by schoolchildren of the new Uitvlugt Primary School. Thousands of residents, as well as workers attached to the Estate, also use the road, which is filled with holes, bumps and is unpaved. This situation causes the roadway to become unbearably dusty in the dry season and completely covered in slush in the rainy season.

The dust also poses a health hazard to the teachers and students of the Uitvlugt Primary School as the roadway is traversed by a large number of heavy-duty and other vehicles daily.