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Old June 16th, 2010, 01:21 PM   #1
ChrisZwolle
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[GUY] Guyana

Roads of Guyana



Guyana has one of the least developed road system of South America, totaling less than 600 kilometers of paved roads. However, there are plans to improve roads, especially the north-south route from Georgetown to Boa Vista in Brazil. Western and Southern Guyana is virtually inaccessible, there are no roads or towns of prominence in those areas. Guyana has one of the least spoiled rain forests of South America.

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Old June 16th, 2010, 01:23 PM   #2
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The first border crossing with Brazil opened in July 2009. Is consists of a new bridge across the border river, funded entirely by Brazil. It features one of those rare instances where left-hand traffic and right-hand traffic change lanes. This even happens grade-separated, even though the traffic will be virtually non-existent.

Takutu Bridge:


Lane change:
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Old June 16th, 2010, 03:26 PM   #3
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map present paved and unpaved roads:
pink - paved roads and categories
orange - paved roads and categories
green - important dirt roads

[IMG]http://i48.************/11v4bi1.jpg[/IMG]

Red circles present border crossings. I could not find Guyana - Venezuela border crossing, I'm not sure at all that is exist because I did not found a road link between the two countries. El Bochinche border is possible border crossing but there was no crossing infrastructure
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Old June 16th, 2010, 03:51 PM   #4
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Western Guyana is an infrastructural black hole. There is absolutely nothing there.
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Old June 16th, 2010, 09:44 PM   #5
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Guyana has no funds to pave about 450 km of dirt road that links Linden to Lethem at the international bridge. Brazil promised fund the works when opened the bridge but I never heard anything about it again.

About the border between Guyana and Venezuela, any overland or river crossing are forbiden since the later claims the Western territories of the first. With Uncle Chavez in power, this discussion has been raised louder lately.
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Old June 16th, 2010, 09:46 PM   #6
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The Lethem - Georgetown road is also of Brazilian significance as it provides a road connection from Northern Brazil to the port of Georgetown to export goods.
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Old June 16th, 2010, 10:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
The Lethem - Georgetown road is also of Brazilian significance as it provides a road connection from Northern Brazil to the port of Georgetown to export goods.
Yes, I think the intent was for the road to serve as an alternate shipping route (alternate to the Amazon river fluvial route) to the inland amazonian city of Manaus.

Good thread by the way Chris. Never saw a single image of Guyana roads before!!!
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Old June 16th, 2010, 10:02 PM   #8
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Exactly! A ship getting in/out Manaus until the mouth of the Amazon River takes 5/6 days. With this road the economy of time of cargo to Europe/North America could reach 10 days!
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Old June 16th, 2010, 10:07 PM   #9
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By the way, here is the IIRSA project page for Guyana. If you click on each project there are map links at the bottom of the page. As you can see from this map, the connection with Brazil is part of IIRSA Group 2 and there is also a plan to connect it with eastern Venezuela (IIRSA Group 3).
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Old June 16th, 2010, 10:23 PM   #10
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There are only a few paved roads in Guyana. One that leads from Georgetown east to the Suriname border (by ferry), one that goes south to the airport, and some paved segments along the Essequibo river as far west as Charity, but these require ferries. There is a toll bridge spanning the river just south of Georgetown, it's a floating bridge opened in 1979. I couldn't find a single picture of directional signage, so I guess there is no signage. There is no road numbering either.

Here are a few pics:









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Old June 16th, 2010, 10:29 PM   #11
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Great finds Chris! Guyana, French Guiana, and Suriname are always a mystery even within South America. Sometimes it feels like they do not exist or like they are part of a different continent
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Old June 16th, 2010, 10:34 PM   #12
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Well, they're culturally different. They're not part of Latin-America, and exclaves of English, French and Dutch speaking people. They are also geographically extremely isolated, not connected by road to Latin-American countries. Even in the Netherlands, the knowledge about Suriname (a Dutch colony until 1975) is pretty limited. Guyana, Suriname and French-Guyana are also poorer than average in South America. Brazil or Argentina are 3 - 4 times richer than those countries.
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Old June 16th, 2010, 10:39 PM   #13
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I agree with you. It is just strange that most Latin-American countries do not know much about these countries which are, literally, in their backyard. I grew up in South America and the only time I remember hearing about these isolated countries was when they talked about the French Guyana Space Center (European Space Agency facility).
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Old June 17th, 2010, 12:48 AM   #14
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As for the connection with Boa Vista (Brazil), it is already paved an opened. Contrary to what "bulk geography" might suggest, the border area is not a regular equatorial humid forest, but indeed a kind of savanna with extremely fertile soil. Mineral resources abound in the region too.

As for Guyana, Suriname and French Guyana being not exactly part of cultural and economic Latin America, that makes some sense indeed. There are limited (and brutally expensive) connecting flights from Georgetown, Cayenne and Paramaribo with Brazil only.

French Guyana is a kind of different world, as it is a department of France with all money that comes with it. A paved road link is about to be finished with Brazil but, again, only to Macapa, which itself is not connected to the rest of the country.

Suriname has no land connection with Brazil of any kind.

Guyana government is touting and pitching to Brazilian wealthy farmers to invest there. Rice and soybeans have huge potential for large-scale commercial farms (I'm talking about individual farms with 10.000 ha [100 km²] - or more EACH) in the South. Then, this road would become more important, probably.
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Old January 8th, 2011, 03:27 AM   #15
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*bump!*

Let's the Surinamese-Guyanese highway battle begin!
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Old August 20th, 2011, 06:02 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post


Guyanese seem quite fond of pontoon bridges: in December 2008, a pontoon bridge spanning the Berbice River near New Amsterdam was opened as well. Meanwhile in Suriname, no pontoon bridges exist. Even the Coppename bridge, spanning a similar body of water is a girder bridge.

Pictures:





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Old August 20th, 2011, 11:07 PM   #17
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Still no start date for Linden-Lethem road works

AUGUST 12, 2011 | BY KNEWS | FILED UNDER NEWS

Discussions on the development of the Linden to Lethem Road have been ongoing for years and the Governments of Guyana and Brazil have not yet decided on the date when the construction of the road would commence.

The uncertainty as to when this vital stretch, that links northern Brazil to Georgetown, would be transformed from loam to asphalted concrete surface was further highlighted yesterday at a press conference held at the International Convention Centre, Pattensen.

Neither of the Foreign Ministers, Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett of Guyana and Antonio Patriota of Brazil, was able to update the media as to when the construction of the road would commence.

However, Minister Rodrigues-Birkett stressed that the feasibility study for the construction of the road is completed and is under the purview of the Ministry of Public Works and Communications.

The economical and social importances of the road were reiterated as the Ministers emphasized the good trade relations the two countries share.

Minister Rodrigues-Birkett noted that Guyana is unable to compete with Brazil’s economy and the country would be unable to maximize trade potential in the absence of the Linden to Lethem Road. She stated that 60 tariff lines were added to the already existing 127.

It was pointed out that a consortium of Brazilian companies is in Guyana discussing various projects including the aforementioned road and hydropower.

Minister Rodrigues-Birkett asserted that while a time frame is not confirmed for the road’s construction, the Government of Guyana is executing maintenance works on the stretch.

Recent heavy rainfall in the hinterland region resulted in the deplorable condition of the Linden to Lethem Road to worsen. The flooding of the road and the caving of some culverts made certain sections impassible. It also resulted in the permanent closure of Intra Serv, a bus service from Georgetown to Lethem.

The sponginess of the stretch after the flood made road repairs difficult. Persons driving cargo trucks were asked to respect the weight limit so as to prevent further damage to the road.
http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/20...em-road-works/

More background info from the New York Times:
Muddy Road Molds Debate on the Future of Guyana

By SIMON ROMERO
Published: May 8, 2010


FIFTY EIGHT, Guyana — A battered, decades-old Bedford truck that would not look out of place in a “Mad Max” movie pulled off the road. Gold miners crawled out of its mud-splattered cab, sauntered into Peter Rajmenjan’s diner and asked if he had any bush hog for sale.

“The only wild meat I have left today is deer,” replied Mr. Rajmenjan, 55, whose establishment lies at the 58-mile marker on the main road cutting through the Guyanese jungle.

Over plates of deer curry, travelers chatted in Caribbean-accented English or murmured in indigenous languages like Macushi, Arawak and Wapishana. Around them, the forest buzzed with mosquitoes. The siren moan of howler monkeys could be heard in the distance.

Then they climbed back into their Bedfords and continued their journey on one of South America’s most remarkable roads. It runs more than 300 miles, from Georgetown, the sleepy capital of this former British colony, to Lethem, a boomtown on the border with Brazil.

The status of this muddy, sometimes impassable road represents nothing less than the future of Guyana itself, many Guyanese say. Investors from Brazil, the region’s rising power, want to pave the road and dredge a deepwater port near Georgetown, giving northern Brazil a modern artery to export its goods to the Caribbean and North America.

For Guyana, which has just 753,000 people in a country about the size of Britain (population 61 million), the project holds both risk and reward. Many here liken the debate over the road to a battle for the identity of Guyana, a nation pulled between competing desires to delve into the global economy or pursue a slower, more ecologically sustainable path toward development.

President Bharrat Jagdeo, a Moscow-educated economist, has won plaudits for the nation’s forest protection policies, but his government is also considering far less pristine endeavors, like oil drilling.

The road is a physical manifestation of these two poles. At one end are echoes of the nation’s colonial past, like cricket pitches and hackney carriages (taxis). Hindu temples, for the many Guyanese descended from laborers from the Indian subcontinent, dot Georgetown’s canalled streets.

At the other end of the road, on the border with Brazil, every other conversation seems to be in Portuguese. Chinese merchants sell goods to traders, businessmen broker deals to lure Brazilian rice farmers and signs welcome Brazilians and their robust currency, the real, to this outback.

Between these two worlds lies a frontier: thick rain forest and empty savannas in one of the hemisphere’s poorest and most sparsely populated countries.

Environmentalists are especially concerned about the road’s potential impact on forests that are home to animals like river otters, the 400-pound arapaima fish, even jaguars that can be glimpsed at dusk along a stretch of the road through the protected Iwokrama rain forest. Studies show that more than two million acres of rain forest could be affected if the road is paved.

“Asphalted roads in tropical areas cause deforestation, poaching and attract settlement, and this road happens to run through one of the most species-rich areas in the world,” said Graham Watkins, a biologist and resource management consultant in Georgetown.

Those arguing for the road to be paved acknowledge some upheaval will occur. But they also say the road could ease Guyana’s poverty, a legacy of isolationist economic policies. Forty-four years after Guyana gained independence, the country remains the poorest in South America, with a per capita income lower than Bolivia’s.

Up and down the road, signs of daily struggle abound. Close to where the pavement ends, Dennis Williams, 42, an Arawak Indian, eked out a living in a downpour that stymied even vehicles with four-wheel drives.

“Rain don’t humbug the coals,” said Mr. Williams, pointing to a lumpy bag at his feet. Translation: the rain doesn’t spoil the cooking charcoal that Mr. Williams harvests from trees around his village and sells for about $3 a bag to feed his children.

Only about 100 vehicles a week make the trip all the way to Lethem, taking anywhere from 12 hours to two days to complete it, depending on weather conditions. The muddy, pot-holed road might seem atrocious today — drivers place their vehicles on a pontoon ferry to cross the Essequibo River — but it used to be worse before the early 1990s.

“That’s when I shifted Guyana’s gaze from the Caribbean toward South America,” said Colin Edwards, 63, a Briton who oversaw the upgrading of the road from a cattle trail.

“Now Guyana’s continental destiny hinges on the road’s asphalting,” said Mr. Edwards in the foothills of the Pakaraima Mountains, where he settled, married a Macushi woman, had three sons and opened a roadside hotel. It has a watering hole called the Dakota Bar, where cattlemen used to gather to watch DC-3s depart with steers bound for the coast.

Samuel Hinds, Guyana’s prime minister, said it was Henry Ford who originally had the idea of cutting a road through Guyana’s forest in the 1920s. Some Guyanese argue that Ford was searching for a way to export cultivated rubber from Fordlândia, his failed outpost of capitalism on a tributary of the Amazon River in Brazil.

Companies in Brazil still want the road improved, and many Guyanese consider it a foregone conclusion that it will be. Still, the Brazilians may have to wait.

“Sleeping with a big neighbor, 200 times your size, you know they might not intend it, but if they roll over it could be the end of you,” said Mr. Hinds, reflecting concerns in Guyana over being swallowed up by its southern neighbor. Still, Mr. Hinds said he could support the project, as long as Guyana could find $350 million to finance it.

For now, the road captures both the splendor and the squalor of Guyana’s isolation. At one spot where a logging truck had overturned, the piercing song of the screaming piha resonated through the canopy. Loggers gossiped about recent reports of jaguar attacks on people. Ali Shazeez, a truck driver, rolled up his window. “Malaria,” he explained, gesturing toward mosquitoes.

Farther down the road, past the lyrically named “bush mouth,” where the Rupununi savanna abruptly unfolds from the rain forest, the lights of Lethem beckoned. Workmen labored on dozens of structures on Lethem’s outskirts. The dirt bikes weaving between Land Rovers on Lethem’s dirt roads, as Jamaican dance hall music boomed from speakers, gave the town an almost frenetic vibe.

For the “coast landers” from Georgetown, Lethem was their journey’s end. But for those dwelling in Lethem and the surrounding frontier of savannas, where cattle rustlers still abscond into the Brazilian state of Roraima, the dirt road unfolding from the edge of town represented something else.

“That road is going to end our way of life,” said Justin de Freitas, 35, who worked as a porter along the road before returning to Dadanawa, a sprawling cattle ranch where he grew up. Dadanawa’s vacqueros, or cowboys, are still Wapishana Indians clad in jaguar pelts who ride their horses for days over the empty savanna.

“Nothing,” he said, “will be the same around here once it’s paved.”
A version of this article appeared in print on May 9, 2010, on page A6 of the New York edition.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/09/wo...=guyana&st=cse
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Old December 8th, 2011, 06:19 PM   #18
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Brazil and Guyana border





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Old December 9th, 2011, 02:38 AM   #19
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Apparently, Guyana is a popular spot for JDM imports. And they seem to love the Toyota Carina.

T190 (1992-1996)


T210 (1996-2001)

~BG
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Old February 20th, 2013, 04:50 PM   #20
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