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#314636 - 12/13/08 03:53 PM PAVING OF ALBERT AND REGENT STREETS ON THE WAY
Marty Offline
Belize City residents and other visitors to the old capital may be please to know that the paving of Albert and Regent Streets may be completed before the New Year. Preparatory work began last week and CEO in the Ministry of Works Cadet Henderson says that we can look forward to the completion of the project.
Cadet Henderson; CEO Ministry of Works

“We are now at a more visible or tangible state of the project, as you know the sidewalk have been ongoing for several months now and that’s the more time consuming component of the works and before that we were doing all the utility under ground trenching and replacements, which itself took a couple months, but at this stage from Romax, from Brodies, all the way down to beyond Wesley Church is being prepared for paving, and paving on this stretch will commence next week. I mean there has been a lot of speculation on timing. Unfortunately it will not be entirely complete for Christmas, but Albert Street will substantially complete. Most of Regent Street as well, so the paving operation beginning from Brodies on Albert Street will continue all the way through to St. Johns Church and on to Regent Street.”

The paving of Albert and Regent Street was first made public by the Belize City Council in March of this year. But the Ministry of Works took over the project couple months ago in an effort to speed up the process.

Cadet Henderson; CEO Ministry of Works

“The preparation right now is very technical, in fact we’re using a, the contractor is using a specialize machinery to blend cement with the all in aggregate that is being placed there and immediately after that will be hot mix asphalted over the road. It’s a project that was an initiative of ours here at the Ministry of Works where we initially diverted some founds from another project to help out the City Council to give Belize City a face lift. Our vision is more than just Albert and Regent Street. When we’re through with this area we will continue our efforts on Central American Boulevard. Legally we have adopted that section of the road that links the Northern and Western Highway, all the way to the port but, the delays is simply because we have been packaging the financing, we have we’ve had three or four contractors involve, it’s not just a one a single package.”

Henderson says that the funding for the project is being provided by the Petro Caribe Fund.

LOVEFM

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#315511 - 12/21/08 07:50 PM Re: PAVING OF ALBERT AND REGENT STREETS ON THE WAY [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline
The wait is finally over… Albert Street is paved

Months of anticipation came to an end today when the paving of Albert Street finally commenced after many delays. Minister of Works Anthony “Boots” Martinez was among the many spectators downtown to see the first spurt of tar hit the ground. Jose Sanchez reports.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting
On Thursday, officials and city residents were disappointed when the hot-mix did not reach Albert Street on its latest schedule. But at 1:30 this afternoon, the first gush of tar was tested on the sides of Brodies, indicating that this would finally be the proud day for Minister of Works Anthony “Boots” Martinez.

Anthony “Boots” Martinez, Minister of Works
“Well, for me I’m personally elated, but also too I think this is a good way forward for the country of Belize, for the citizens of the city and it’s a good move for tourism. I want to thank our government for all the support that they have given to this project. And I think that you will see the difference. It is worth the while; it is worth the long wait. We have all the levels in place and now we’re getting ready to do the final infrastructure product in terms of road work. Apart from the paving with the hot mix, there will be fancy lampposts on the sidewalks, benches, trees and so forth.”

Larry Flowers, Contractor, Rodla Construction
“We have placed the top coat which is going to be used as the binder for holding the hot mix asphalt to the pavement. That is being placed right now with the bitumen distributor. Thereafter, we will have the asphalt paver place the asphalt on top of the top coat.”

Jose Sanchez
“And this section of the street will be ready for vehicular traffic by when?”

Larry Flowers
“We expect to finish from the Belize Bank to about Barrows law firm by 5:00 p.m. I think thereafter, about 2 hours after, we should be able to open it up to traffic.”

Progress brings problems. To pave Albert Street, the Belize City Council prepared Battlefield Park for vendors that would have to leave Albert Street. The trees were cut and stalls were built. But when the first spurts of tar hit the ground, immigrant vendors had to be told to move and instead of the park, they blocked the entrance of Church Street with fruits. Only one vendor had moved her stall outside the park.

Today’s paving could not come any sooner for the merchants of Albert Street. Business had been bad for Anil Asnani, so he is glad his frustration is almost over.

Anil Asnani, Merchant
“Well, I hope that it’s going to come to an end soon; maybe today or tomorrow because all of us have been suffering. Not only the business, but also our merchandise has getting been dusty and we have finding it very difficult to encounter all this. So far as the business is concerned, it is suffering and we have been hiring people. This kind of business, you will have to come and cleaned the merchandise three times a day and gives a weird kind of look to our merchandise.”

While merchants are happy that the dust issue is solved, another progress-related problem has developed. The utility companies have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to place their infrastructure underground. Tux Vasquez, Telemedia’s Service Delivery Manager, says that the telephone company will eventually need access to the manholes that are going to be paved.

Arturo “Tux” Vasquez, Gen. Mgr. Service Delivery, Telemedia
“We have about 184 manholes between Albert and Regent Street. At the time the arrangement was that we should have those manholes at least 2 inches above the ground to facilitate the servicing. But of course, there was a delay—we finished in July and now we’re in December and due to the delay the whole road has changed – the dynamics, the eroding of it, the potholes, the grading and all of that. So what we find now is that today the ministry has decided to cover all the manholes. That’s not a problem really, but the problem that I’m hoping that we won’t have is to get a public slack in the sense that later on when you see B.T.L. coming back, breaking up the streets breaking up the street to open up these manholes again, it’s not really because it is not our plan. We were really on schedule with our plan. But I was speaking to the minister just now and he has agreed that we will work together whereby we will have the people who are actually doing the roads, that they will have the access to the manholes for us and then we will in turn raise them or lower them, depending on what is needed.”

Lol … I always say ‘Organization is the key to success’ …

Minister of Works Anthony “Boots” Martinez
“We are the experts. We designed the project, we know how to get in, how to get out. We have arranged that with Mr. Vasquez, Mr. Tux Vasquez of B.T.L., we also have the issue with B.W.S. We make provisions that they can get in and out without damaging the street.”

Larry Flowers, Contractor, Rodla Construction
“Because we had the setback yesterday, we’ll proceed into tomorrow, so we’ll continue on Albert Street tomorrow, go around St. John’s Church and continue on to Regent street Saturday and Sunday.”

Jose Sanchez
“So Monday… you’re supposed to be done by Monday?”

Larry Flowers
“Yes, we expect that by Sunday evening we should complete the entire loop for Albert and Regent Streets.”

Jose Sanchez
“Some people will wonder why you’re not working at night.”

Larry Flowers
“Because we have to place the hot mix with the asphalt paver, so it’s easier for us to do it during the day so we can see if we have any deficiencies. So it’s better for us to do it during the day.”

Jose Sanchez
“How many years is this supposed to last?”

Larry Flowers
“We expect that with this type of pavement, we should get at least 5 to 8 years of pavement life.”

With almost a decade of smooth surface to enjoy, coupled with new lights and benches in January, perhaps the business community will soon paint their buildings to match the freshly tarred street. Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

While the paving is being carried out by the Ministry of Works, the Belize City Council will be responsible for the upkeep of Regent and Albert Streets.

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#315771 - 12/23/08 03:08 PM Re: PAVING OF ALBERT AND REGENT STREETS ON THE WAY [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline
What A Difference A Paving Makes

The newly repaved Albert Street was opened to traffic on Saturday morning. It was paved with the hot mix on Friday afternoon, ending what one businessman described as a 7-month nightmare. Today we found out that with the dust gone – businesses are now hoping the shoppers will return. We went downtown to find out if they are.
A dust free Albert Street was today bustling with shoppers for whom the newly paved street is literally - a breath of fresh air.

CEO in the Ministry of Works Cadet Henderson says that if the weather permits, Regent Street will be paved tomorrow and it should be completed by Christmas Eve. That again, is only if weather permits.


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#316506 - 12/31/08 02:38 PM Re: PAVING OF ALBERT AND REGENT STREETS ON THE WAY [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline
Flowerpots for Albert Street

;Albert Street continues to change. Last week it got 12 benches and 12 garbage bins and today residents woke to find 12 new flower pots dotting Albert Street. Now, we’re all for fixing up the Albert’s, but hanging flower pots? Quaint as they are – those passers-by we spoke to felt it might be a bit much – considering that this is a main street not a promenade, and also taking into account the reality that – given the chance - city thieves would strip the paint off the sidewalk if they could. But Mayor Zenaida Moya is undaunted; she says it is all part of the effort to revitalize downtown Belize City.
Zenaida Moya, Mayor of Belize City
“We are revitalizing downtown Belize City and we’re doing our part as it pertains to even ensuring a beautiful look for even business houses along this area. We have been working very tirelessly to ensure that on the sidewalks and the streets, all the amenities are in place and that people will feel proud when they come downtown Belize City. Clearly along with the very beautiful planters and the garbage receptacles and the benches, we want to ensure that the business houses and any structure along that way are in fact beautified.”

Keith Swift,
Some people would say these are almost too nice for the downtown area, especially the floral arrangements because they will be stolen or tipped off or destroyed.

Zenaida Moya,
“Well, those comments have in fact been made and it doesn’t speak well of us as a society if that is what is being thought. But in fact, it is considered a reality in some people’s mind. I also feel that the regular Belizean, the regular resident, the regular business owner or business operator, owe it to themselves to assist in keeping these structures in place. If you know of somebody that is about to deface or in any way vandalize these amenities, please stop those individuals. So I think everybody has their role to play. If we go to Chetumal, if we go to nice places in the Caribbean or even in Central America, we see beautiful things. Why can’t Belize City have such beautiful things?”

Mayor Moya says she has spoken to police about the possibility of installing cameras to deter vandals and thieves. She says that businesses along Albert Street will be provided with free paint to repaint their establishments. It will be up to the businesses to find the labour. The street lamps should be installed early next year. As for Regent Street on which paving was interrupted by rain and then the Christmas weekend – that should resume and conclude over the first weekend of the New Year.

Channel 7

Here's a few pics of the paving project:
http://BelizePhotographs.com/081228.html

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#317611 - 01/08/09 05:11 AM Re: PAVING OF ALBERT AND REGENT STREETS ON THE WAY [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline
Work on Albert and Regent Streets Almost Complete

We are already seven days into the New Year and the rehabilitation work on Albert and Regent Streets is nearing completion. As a matter of fact, when we caught up with Minister of Works Anthony “Boots” Martinez this evening there was still some work being done on Regent Street. But as Martinez explained the work in downtown Belize City is just about complete.

Hon. Anthony Boots Martinez, Minister of Works
“Well they are doing the final portion here and then they will be moving on to doing the side lane turnings and the hot mix portion of Albert and Regent Streets is over then. What remains for us though is the aesthetic light poles and a couple areas where we need to put some concrete and we need to wash off the concrete, the contractor needs to wash off the concrete, polish it, and we are through.”

Jacqueline Godwin,
We are talking about the rough edges that we see along Albert Street and Regent Street.

Hon. Anthony Boots Martinez,
“Even the top where you see dusty and everything so now we are putting in the final polishing on Albert and Regent Street. So if you notice, we have the fancy flower pots and we have the benches, I love the benches; if you notice I was a bit tired and I sat on one. I am happy for the residents of Belize City and I think that more projects like this need to be done across the city.”

Jacqueline Godwin,
How much this project cost the government?

Hon. Anthony Boots Martinez,
“I am sure, I don’t have the exact figures, I can quote it tomorrow, but I am sure it is over a million dollars, that is for sure.”

Jacqueline Godwin,
After this major project, you move on to Central American Boulevard?

Hon. Anthony Boots Martinez,
“Yes and that Central American Boulevard should be easy because the base is already done. The Ministry of Works is getting a new brand line marker and we’re looking at line marking for Albert Street and some cat’s eye, some good cat’s eye that are solar and so we will put a test of that on Albert Street.

The whole idea of revitalizing the downtown area came from the Mayor of Belize and the Belize City Council and we offered to help and we made the plans with proper drainage, we executed, we gave the contract, we found the finances and so it is a good help out, partnership with the Belize City Council.”

Minister Martinez says there are major plans to continue to improve the northern highway that eventually should be transformed into a four lane highway. There are also plans to pave from Blue Creek to Orange Walk in the north and resurface the Western Highway from Roaring Creek well into the Cayo District.

Channel 7

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#317769 - 01/09/09 02:51 AM Re: PAVING OF ALBERT AND REGENT STREETS ON THE WAY [Re: Marty]
Consuelo Offline
When we were in Belize City in April they had just started that paving project - we stayed at Hotel Mopan and had a front row seat of the work being done. We were very impressed with the workers - they worked their fannies off - we told them they should come to Canada and show road crews how to do a job properly as none of them stood around leaning on their shovels like we so frequently see here - they were really working hard every moment and a lot of it was being done by hand.

Cheers - wish we were there in Belize now.

Have a great 2009 everyone.

Connie from Kelowna

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