If there was good news to be found in the Prime Minister’s Independence Day speech, it was about the proliferation of public works. These projects were funded in part by Petro Caribe funds of sixty million dollars given to Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL) for sporting facilities countrywide, particularly and including the Belize City Center here in Belize City. The Prime Minister also mentioned other major completed and ongoing works.
Prime Minister Dean Barrow
“The Belize Infrastructure Limited is still proceeding with the construction of sports and community facilities in the District Towns. And in the Old Capital the Belize City Center is beginning to commune with the heavens, the frame of its roof already dominating the skyline. The Chetumal Street Bridge and the new Lake I Boulevard function as a critical transportation by-pass, much appreciated by commuters. And the adjoining Resource Center Building starting to take shape, signals the implementation commencement of the Master Plan for the 45 acres owned by Government, designated now as a Special Development Area. It is a mixed use project that will house the National Bus Terminal and a G.O.B. office complex, but as well private sector recreational, entertainment and retail spaces. The larger, countrywide infrastructure canvas also displays a medley of good things. Those of you coming to Belmopan this morning from Belize City or from the San Ignacio, would have been impressed by the new Guanacaste Roundabout at the junction of the Hummingbird and the George Price Highway; and you should see it at night when it is splendidly lit up, gorgeously displaying its first world quality and serving as emblem and beacon for our non-stop transformation.”
More to Come, Including Paving of Coastal Road
On the matter of public works, according to the Prime Minister, there is more to come. He announced the planned paving and aligning of the Coastal Road, opening up the southern Belize District and northern Stann Creek District to traffic from Belize City and Dangriga. But that is only one of the new infrastructure projects coming.
Prime Minister Dean Barrow
“Then, approval has already been secured for the paving and aligning of the Coastal Road together with new bridges. This comes out of a forty- million-dollar UK grant, the balance of which will go for improvements in the North to the Philip Goldson Highway between Orange Walk and Corozal. In the West the IDB is funding the rehabilitation of the entire George Price Highway from the Belmopan junction to Benque Viejo. And OPEC/OFID will do a new Baking Pot Bridge and access roads as well as the Caracol Road. Also, the new Macal River Bypass and Bridge will be completed by March of 2017. In Toledo we will finish the last portion to Jalacte of the Southern Highway. And in Stann Creek the complete re-do of the Hummingbird which is underway will, together with the Coastal, enhance the viability of the planned Commerce Bight Port. In the Belize District the work has already started on the portion of highway between the Phillip Goldson Airport and the City’s outskirts; and funding has now been secured for the new link road to span the Belize River starting from behind Gentrac and coming out at Mile eight on the George Price Highway.”