3 Weeks ago we showed you the signing of a contract between GOB and Taiwanese firm, Overseas Engineering and Construction Company Limited S.A., for the upgrade of the Corozal/Sarteneja Road.
It will cost 50 million US dollars to pave the 27 miles of road between Corozal and Sarteneja. And today a groundbreaking ceremony was held at the junction of the Corozal and Sarteneja roads.
Minister of Works Rene Montero called it a historic event:
Hon. Rene Montero - Minister of Works and Transport "Today marks the official start of the upgrading of the Corozal Sarteneja Road to paved standards. It is indeed a happy occasion, as it marks a new level in another important milestone of the road infrastructure development in Belize."
Remus Li-Ko Chen - Ambassador of Taiwan to Belize "This very important infrastructure project, I must emphasis is truly brought here out of the goodwill of Taiwan for the people, communities and businesses of Corozal. According to the OECC feasibility study, this project will contribute substantially to reduce travel time, enhance road safety, increasing investment opportunities and prosperity and uplifting for both communities within this project area and all Belizean people alike."
Hon. Hugo Patt - Minister of Natural Resources "For those of us who live in Sarteneja, who live in Xunux, who live in Copper Bank, Progresso, I don't think I have to go any further than saying that traversing these 27 miles of road is always a challenge. I could well recall my very days in high school, I had a very good friend from Sarteneja, a very beautiful village in this stretch of Belize and what caught my attention was that back in the days, coming to high school, you would take your bicycle and ride to high school, I went to Corozal Community College. And I saw my friend coming with his luggage and I asked him, why is that you have to bring your luggage every Sunday afternoon and Friday as soon as classes are over, you have to practically rush the last session of classes and hit a bus. He was telling, look it is the road, we don't have buses, we don't have much transportation at the mere fact that the road is in bad condition don't allow for us to be able to traverse. When we fast track that to present day, we can now tell all the people of that stretch of road, all the communities that those challenges will be left behind. Those are things of the past, after the completion of this project in 54 months' time, you will feel the benefit of reaping not only social benefits but also the economic impact of having an upgraded road."
Hon. Rene Montero "This project is 27 miles. It will involve the replacing of 2 ferries, we will replace it with 2 bridges and that will assist the people living in that area because you can bring economic benefits. It will reduce the time moving from Corozal to Sarteneja, this project will take 54 months and a Taiwanese company got the contract to construct this road because they have experience in Central America and the region and this project will take 54 months to complete."
Upon completion, the new road will provide a direct and all-weather link between Corozal Town on the Northern Highway and many of the communities to the east of the Progresso Lagoon. The major upgrades include the construction of two bridges to replace old ferries at Pueblo Nuevo and Laguna Seca.