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#415392 - 09/03/11 09:31 AM Rating Belize’s Roads
Marty Offline
Two nights ago, we told you about the specialized van which would be making fine tuned assessment and analysis of the quality and safety of Belize's roadways.

Well, the van is in country, and it's already been working on the roads. Today, the project was officially launched - and we found out more about this high tech van:..

Jules Vasquez Reporting
It's called the Orange Angel - equipped with six cameras, four lasers, four computers, tons of other gadgetry and six people to operate it all - and it's worth about seven hundred thousand US dollars.

Carlos Lopez, IRAP
"We have 5 cameras, 5 perspectives one in the front of the vehicle, 2 at 45 degrees angles in order that we have the full vision, so that the driver has when he is driving on the road."

The idea is to capture the experience as the driver does, turn that into data and analyse it in the end rating each road

Cadet Henderson, CEO, MOW
"There will be a star system from star 1 to 5 and just my guess, maybe Placencia road maybe rated 4 star, even though that is one of our best effort, but it's yet to be seen, and maybe many of our road maybe 1, 2, 3 star rated."

Jules Vasquez
"Which road do you fair will get the lowest rating?"

Cadet Henderson, CEO, MOW
"I think the lowest rating would be areas on the Northern Highway that are maindering, that have inadequate refuges on the shoulder for vehicles to pull over in the case of, in the event of emergency."

Carlos Lopez, IRAP
"We will tell the government the answer to your question. We will say ok, your roads range from 3 stars to 1 star or from 3 stars to 5 or this particular one is the 4 star, but this one is only 1 star etc."

Once those ratings are assigned the idea is that funding would then be pursued.

Carlos Lopez, IRAP
"We will present and proposed to them a package of investment, so what we do, is that we tell the government, how they can invest their money in the smartest way. In the most intelligent ways, in order to have a high return."

Cadet Henderson, CEO, MOW
"Our expectation is that the Caribbean Development Bank will then provide us with funds to do a first phase of the implementation of the corrective measures. Whether it mean reconstruction, resealing, shoulder widening, line marking, removal of speed deterrence that could be considered a hazard, or installation of new ones, signage and the light."

But it about more than computers and grant funds:

Carlos Lopez, IRAP
"Let me tell you that every 5 days in this country one person dies, every 5 day. We are talking about 70 people each year that they passed away. So our question is, can we do anything to avoid that? Can we work on that? Are we responsible somehow to allow this situation? Many people called them "accidents", we are against this terminology, and these are not accident."

And if you're worried that all these good intentions, all this high tech gadgetry will be reduced to one rattling mess by Belize's bad road - he says it's made for this:

Carlos Lopez, IRAP
"So this problem is specifically designed for the high risk roads, so we are prepared to work in high risk roads."

The van should be finished in the next four to five days. It will make its assessment of 600 kilometers or about 375 miles of the Northern, Western, Southern and Hummingbird highways as well as the Placencia road, the Airport Road and the road to the Big Creek Port…

Channel 7

#415401 - 09/03/11 09:52 AM Re: Rating Belize’s Roads [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

The Ministry of Works has undertaken a project to map over three hundred miles of paved roads in Belize. The purpose of the survey is to determine the state of the nation’s roadways and, according to Chief Executive Officer Cadet Henderson, to prioritize a capital investment program for road safety infrastructure improvements.

Cadet Henderson – CEO, Ministry of Works
“Our roads countrywide have been improving steadily as you know we have either been resealing or paving roads that were unpaved, or reconstructing roads like in the case of the Placencia Road but we want to take a much more professional approach to the whole network. So we have contracted with grant funding from the CDB, the iRap group that will evaluate about 600 kilometers of our roads and make recommendations on what is required for them to meet international standards. The CDB that is providing the grant funding now will provide us with a loan to upgrade these roads as per the recommendations.”

The survey will be carried out by a specially equipped vehicle which will record images of the major highways from Corozal to Toledo and selected paved roads in between. The survey is being carried out by the International Road Assessment Program, a London-based not-for-profit organization dedicated to saving lives through safer roads. Belize now joins sixty other countries around the world where road assessment programs are now ongoing.



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