First Published: 8th of December, 2016 by Patrick Carpen.Last updated: August 8, 2023 at 14:14 pm
The Takutu River Bridge is one small bridge for a man; one giant bridge for mankind.
The Takutu River Bridge was completed in the year 2009 as part of an initiative between the governments of Guyana and Brazil. Since then, travel between the two countries has been very much streamlined, and so has cultural exchange. Everyday, hundreds of Guyanese and Brazilians alike use the bridge to visit each other’s country and return home. Brazilians usually drive over to purchase cheap merchandise from Chinese and other businesses in Lethem, and Guyanese often travel to Boa Vista to purchase Brazilian products that are scarce in Guyana.
In this context, the bridge has facilitated greater trade between the two countries. Consequently, many consumer items and food items are imported into the Rupununi Savannahs from Brazil since it is often cheaper than to buy them from Georgetown.
The Bridge, which is a classical architectural achievement that will last for centuries to come, pays homage to the differences in driving rules between the two countries: Brazilians drive on the right hand side of the road while Guyanese drive on the left. When traveling to Brazil from Guyana, all you have to do is follow the arrows, and the bridge’s intelligent design will land you on the right hand side of the road once you cross over into Brazil. You will also see a big sign that reads, when translated from Portuguese, “respect the right hand drive.”
If you stand on top of the Takutu River Bridge, you can see the world, literally. You can look down into the tranquil waters of the ever flowing Takutu River. You can see outlines of various parts of the town of Lethem and a little bit of Bonfim.
Remember that Lethem and Bonfim are neighboring towns. But even though they are only a few meters away from each other, if you travel from one to the other, you have crossed over into a whole new country, and today, the Takutu River Bridge makes that remarkably easy.
When you visit Lethem, remember to cross the Takutu River Bridge. Remember, this is one small bridge for a man, one giant bridge for mankind.
The Takutu River Bridge is open to all form of traffic from 7:00 A.M to 7:00 PM every day from Sunday to Saturday. On special occasions, such as the annual Rupununi Rodeo, the Bridge is left open 24 hours to accommodate the influx of visitors who often need to travel between Guyana and Brazil.