The Ministry of Works has released a series of engineering recommendations to relieve flood damage along the Belize River tributary known as the Haulover Creek and areas north of the Haulover Bridge.

Sustained flooding which has lasted more than two weeks in many areas has convinced the Ministry that there is need for extended dredging to remove bottlenecks and speed up the flow of water.

Accordingly, the Ministry of Works is recommending widening and deepening of the Haulover Creek along its entire length from its junction with the river at Haulover to its exit to the sea at Fort Point.

The proposal is for the Haulover tributary to be dredged to a depth of nine feet and widened to a width of 70 feet where possible. The work will require decades of garbage and sunken boat hulls to be removed from the river, and bridge-like culverts to be installed for adequate drainage.

The ministry also proposes dredging of the river mouth at both Haulover and Belize City “to reduce debris accumulation and aid sediment dispersal”.

In addition, the Ministry wants to permanently upgrade the Northern Highway from the Buttonwood Bay Boulevard Roundabout to the Haulover Bridge, to a full four-lane boulevard standard; complete with appropriate drainage structures and canals necessary to ensure efficient discharge of flood water to the sea.

This means building another, larger bridge over the river at Haulover to accommodate the higher anticipated traffic.

The plans to protect Belize City suburbs - the Belama phases two, three and four and will involve some sort of structure to close off the Haulover Creek in times of flooding, to direct flood waters to the sea at Haulover instead of having it pass through Haulover Creek en route to Belize City.

The proposals call for a mult-million dollar plan and will take years to implement.

www.reporter.bz