Guyana will double the capacity of a section of one of its principal highways and facilitate safer access for pedestrians at that section with a $20 million loan approved by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
The funds will finance a program that seeks to enhance urban and suburban mobility and safety, lower transport costs and reduced accident rates along the East Bank Demerara Main Road up to Diamond.
In recent years the number of vehicles using the Guyana’s roads has increased steadily. This increase, combined with the construction of new residential developments on the outskirts of Georgetown, has contributed to congestion along the East Bank Demerara Main Road. The congestion, along with a lack of road safety features, has also led to frequent traffic accidents.
The project aims to improve these conditions by expanding the East Bank Demerara Main road between Providence and Diamond from two to four lanes, and by providing parking lanes, bus stops, crossings for pedestrians, and bicycle lanes that will increase safety and reduce disruption to traffic flow. These investments are expected to improve conditions for driving and access for vehicles and pedestrians along one of the busiest stretches of the main road network.
Within five years, the project is expected to yield a 15 percent reduction in travel time by car on the improved road section, as well as a 5 km extension of the road network that is in good condition. It is also anticipated that the project will result in a 10 percent reduction in the rate of crashes and resulting deaths, and a 10 percent reduction in travel time of passengers that use public transportation in the project area.
The IDB loan consists of $10 million from the Bank’s Ordinary Capital with a 30-year term, a six-year grace period and interest rate based on LIBOR; and $10 million from the Fund for Special Operations with a 40-year term, a 40-year grace period, and a 0.25 percent interest rate.
- Paul Constance