Belize City to get major bridge to link Northside and Southside

Rush-hour traffic congestion causes major delays for people commuting into and out of Belize City on a daily basis, and among the recommendations made to ease that congestion is the construction of a third bridge over the Haulover Creek, linking the Northside and Southside, thereby providing an alternate route to commuters.

In the weeks ahead, the Ministry of Works intends to begin work on a paved, 2-lane boulevard which will link the Western Highway, at its Fabers Road junction, with the Northern Highway, at its junction with Chetumal Street.

Edgar Puga, engineer/coordinator of the unit responsible for the project, told Amandala today that if weather permits, they would begin pushing the new road as early as next week.

The Ministry of Works published a public notice in the weekend edition of the newspaper, directed at owners of affected Southside properties who may have concerns about the proposed development.

Puga said that some landowners have already agreed to sell their properties to the government.

This means that at least with respect to those properties, government would not have to undertake a compulsory acquisition.

Puga said everybody will gain when the road is opened, because in addition to easing traffic congestion, it would add value to the surrounding properties.

The notice indicates that the road will run through a series of private properties, including those held by the Shaw and Bradley estates.

The plans, prepared by V. Nicholas and Associates, Computer Drafting Services, shows that the bridge will be a 2-lane structure with a median and sidewalks for pedestrians, a total of 21.6 meters (70 feet) wide—which would make it the City’s largest bridge.

According to Puga, the entire road to link the two highways would be about a mile long, and the new bridge, which would span about 40 feet, would be about 2.5 miles away from the Belcan Bridge.

The Government says it will finance the project with a loan from the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID).

Amandala understands that some Chetumal Streets residents have said to Government that they will “picket and protest” if Government tries to join their street with the Lake Independence community on Southside, because they fear that the “problems of Lake I,” alluding to crime, will migrate across the Haulover Creek.