Section four of the Southern Highway is now officially open. A ceremony
marking the
opening took place this morning in Independence Village. Several people
spoke at this
morning's ceremony, including Taiwanese Ambassador Charles Tsai, whose
contributed funding towards the project; Minister of Works, Vildo Marin
and Area
Representative, Henry Canton. We also got comments from the Manager of
Construction, John Woods, the company that worked on section 4 of the
Southern Highway

John Woods: The most exciting to me about this whole project is the fact
that CISCO is a
Belizean company. It is owned and operated by Belizeans. There were no
foreigners that
brought in here to help us with this road. We were. The construction
is totally Belizean it
was built with Pates and Dawsons and all Belize people. They have grown
up and I would
put that construction crew again and that is the best construction crew
I have ever seen in
the world an I think that is a major accomplishment, not only do we have
a new road, we
have road that was built by Belizeans.

Speaking with Love FM, Chief Engineer of the Ministry of Works, Cadet
Henderson, now
speaks of other plans for the Southern Highway Project and other works
elsewhere in the

Cadet Henderson: We are now pursuing linking up the southern highway
with Guatemala
towards Jalacte, so we have already a feasibility study completed. We
have secured
partial funding. We are optimistic that we can get started next year.
Approximately one
hundred million dollars worth of capital investment is represented here,
we are also
focusing on other areas of the country you may well be aware that we
have initiated a
project to by pass Orange Walk Town, that contract is in place and the
contractor has
been mobilized. Later this year we also hope to commence a major road
undertaking also
from Orange Walk to Blue Creek in the Orange Walk District.

In his comments, Minister Marin spoke of other major road works that
will be undertaken
in the Toledo District, as far as to the Southern most village of

Vildo Marin: That one is a project that is still is in the first stage
and that one we are
hoping to get something from the Kuwaite fund and OPEC fund as well. I
cannot tell you
as to the cost as yet, because as I told you we are in the preliminary

Julia Carrillo: You mentioned in your presentation that this super
highway would open up
doors for the people of Stann Creek South. Would you elaborate on that?

Vildo Marin: Indeed a road makes a lot of difference as what was
mentioned before; the
economic benefit that will certainly accrue from the opening of this
major highway is
innumerable. Now for example the transportation system will certainly
lower the rates, I
am hoping that they will be lowering their rates because the wear and
tear will not be as
great now as it was before, so this will give us even a lot of
opportunities for our fellow
Belizeans the northern part of our country to now visit the southern
part and Belizeans
from the south to visit the northern part as well.

Meanwhile, work continues on section two of the Southern Highway Project
from Big Falls
to Bladen. The estimated cost of the Southern Highway Project is
estimated at 22 million