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Guyana’s Road to Brazil Moves Forward

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - January 7, 2012

Above: the Takutu River Bridge (Photo: GINA)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Guyana has completed a feasibility study for the Linden to Lethem Road paving project that would link the country with Brazil, the government announced Friday.

Guyana will share the findings with Brazil as discussions for the project advance, Foreign Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett said.

“We would like to see this project accelerate quickly, but we also have to be very patient,” she said.

Work has started on the road, but there is still much work to be done, according to Rodrigues-Birkett.

Former Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva once described the potential link between the countries as “an expansion of the prospects for development between Guyana and the entire Northern Region of Brazil.”

Earlier this year, Guyana Chamber of Commerce President Komal Ramnauth told Caribbean Journal about the increased flow of commodities from Guyana to Brazil, something he said would increase if the road project were completed.

In 2009, the first-ever physical link between Guyana and Brazil was constructed, the Takutu River Bridge near Lethem.

“The construction of this bridge over the Takutu River is the proof that peace and prosperity are built through integration and by confidence building,” Lula said at the commissioning of the bridge in September 2009.

Former Guyanese President Bharrat Jagdeo and Jose de Achieta Junior, governor of the Brazilian state of Roraima, discussed the possibilities of Brazil financing the project last summer.

If completed, the project could represent a significant boon to cargo and other economic traffic between the two countries, a step begun by the construction of the Takutu bridge.

The Linden to Lethem road in its present form is one of the most important road networks in Guyana, used by heavy volumes of traffic traveling to the country’s hinterland areas.

Given the unpaved nature of the road, however, rainfall can make access difficult.

Guyana’s ultimate goal is for a modern, paved road to be built linking its capital, Georgetown, with the Brazilian city of Boa Vista.

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