Tropical Storm Arthur and the epochal flood that preceded it in June 2008 destroyed the Kendall Bridge - and things haven't been the same since.
The Ministry of Works has been laboring steadily - but it hasn't had an easy time restoring one of the longest, highest bridges in the country.
Finally, though, the new Kendall Bridge has taken shape and it should be opened to traffic in two months' time.
We got a look at the structure and found out why it took so long. Here's what the Supervising Engineer told us about it:..
Jules Vasquez reporting
It took four years, but the Kendall Bridge is almost finished. It is an impressive structure - and a unique one in Belize -the longest, and strongest bridge in the country:
Edgar Puga - Engineering Consultant
"The bridge is more or less 85% complete. The works presently being undertaken includes the steel previous to the casting of the deck. And this should commence next week, and the bridge should be open to traffic approximately within the next 6 weeks. This bridge is unique because it has a 90-metre span, which is approximately 300 feet and the deck is approximately 38 to 40 feet over the river
water level. And the structure itself, if you have seen it, you will noticed that from the deck to the top chord is another 38 feet high. As you've said, this bridge is unique. The Government spent approximately $12.5 million dollars in this structure. When completed, it will have approximately about 350 to 500 tonnes of steel, and 350 tonnes of concrete. So the entire structure will weigh almost 900 tonnes."
And all that weight is supported by a steel truss - not by pillars extending into the Kendall river - making it more or less invulnerable to the kind of floods that wrecked the last bridge
"So this new one was designed as a single span and it is without any intermediate pier. What this will provide is a free flow of the current together with debris, and there will not be obstruction that will cause a major flood to topple the bridge. This bridge was designed for one purpose, and also, it's 13 feet above the old Kendall Structure. So, it has a lot of safety factors that will provide that design life without major problems."
And if you're wondering why it took so long - well the bridge was designed in New Zealand, assembled in the UK - with consultation from Austria - and then shipped to Belize - that's after almost two years of paperwork - all due to the CDB's stringent requirements!
"Between the loan agreement, and today's date, approximately 4 years have passed, but just the paperwork to procure the consultants that were going to design the bridge for Government took 6 months. That's a standard procedure."
Another eighteen months was spent on design and international tendering - and the actual construction of the bridge took 18 months - which will now be finished by July.
"At this stage, everything is going normal. Everything is going according to the program, and we expect the bridge to be completed in early June, and be open to traffic immediately."
That 12.5 million is Belize dollars. Kendall's span should be easily outmatched by the new bridge proposed for Cayo, which will be 500 feet long. Work on that should commence shortly.