The northern highway between the Haulover Bridge and the airport junction is one of the most trafficked and most dangerous stretches of road in Belize. And now, it’s going to get a 13.6 million dollar upgrade. The contract was signed today between Cisco Construction and the Ministry of Works in Belmopan.
First, the road will be widened to include paved shoulders. The pavement will also be restored and re-surfaced, and retaining walls will be constructed in areas where the Belize river threatens to erode the highway. Road lighting, signs, and reflectors, will also be installed. The project will be supervised by an international consultant, IMC Worldwide of the United Kingdom. Work should begin immediately on this, the first phase of a two phase project. At the signing today in Belmopan, Works Minister Rene Montero said that it will provide road safety and create jobs:
The second phase will be from Buttonwood Bay to the Haulover bridge.
Contract Signed for Phase I of Phillip Goldson Highway Rehabilitation
If you’ve driven on the Phillip Goldson Highway anytime in the last couple months you’ve probably complained bitterly about the condition of the road. The section from the Boom junction to Ladyville is particularly vile – more a picado road than a major highway – but from there to the city is also breaking up fast. There’s some good news to report, because works on at least one section of the highway will start soon under the Fifth Road Project which is being funded by the Caribbean Development Bank and G.O.B. It’s broken down into two phases – the Airport junction to the Haulover Bridge and form the bridge to the buttonwood Bay Boulevard roundabout. This morning the Ministry of Works signed a contract for the first phase with veteran firm Cisco Construction for the work which is to start immediately.
On the Phone: Errol Gentle, C.E.O., Ministry of Works
“This procedure started round about 2012 where the project was designed and we had the supervision from 1:54 – we had firms from both local and abroad bidding on this section and at the end of the day Cisco Construction Companies Ltd. was the successful contractor. The scope of works will include construction of retaining walls in the area where there is threat of erosion to the road foundation, the installation of erosion protection baskets, widening of the road cross-section to include paved shoulders – you know there are no paved shoulders on that road right now and you will notice that the shoulders are breaking up, pavement restoration and resurfacing. We also have all the normal safety features like line marking and signage and reflectors and all the different safety barriers that go along with it.”
“Sir any infrastructure work on the Phillip Goldson Highway is of course welcome, but somebody who is a commuter on that road might tell you – why start on that section of road which is not as bad as the area further up which is between the Burrell boom junction and the airport road.”
On the Phone: Errol Gentle
“As I mentioned this project was conceptualized over five years ago, and this is the section that was being targeted. That other area you just mentioned will come under a different project and a different funding agency. We have the World Bank and the Government of Belize doing what is known as a Climate Resilience Project that will then go from the airport junction to Mile twenty-five. That should start later this year. We have seen the condition of the road deteriorating indeed. If you can remember just before the rains the Ministry of Works was out there doing a lot of spot patching – the area looks like a checkers board. Now that the rains have stopped we will be out there again. We will be doing some spot patching with the pre-mix. We couldn’t use pre-mix before because of the weather condition. We will be doing spot-patching with pre-mix.”
The cost for the first phase of the works is thirteen point six million dollars.