Growing the Economy the UDP Way!!!

Works being carry out onn the canal lining and Pen Road area

An investment in infrastructure is an investment in job creation. To combat the global economic crisis, the Government of Belize has focused its resources on infrastructural development projects. Major projects are being executed in every municipality of the country. In Belize City, four major projects are currently on stream.

The Fort Point Pedestrian Walk Project, which falls under the Sustainable Tourism Project, is moving along quite smoothly. Memorial Park is being transformed into a multi-functional public space for special events, recreation and leisure activities. It will include the renovation of the war memorial and inclusion of plaques of honour and ceremonial features. The landscape will be improved with 1 acre of green space. The bandstand will be renovated and a shaded walkway will be constructed around the park. 15 day-vending structures will be constructed along with 30 permanent vending structures. Public restrooms will be implemented for male, female and handicapped users. An amphitheater will be constructed with a stage and seating for 200 people plus a spectators' lawn. The facility will have space for tour operators and residential parking. The Memorial Park will also house the largest Belize flag in the country. Infrastructural development in the area will also include drainage, sidewalk and street rehabilitation. 5,000 linear feet of street (from Bel-Can Bridge to Tourism Zone Terminal 1) will be cobblestone paved. It will resemble the stretch near the Tourism Zone Terminal 1. Park, Cork and Fort Streets will be rehabilitated as well. 10,000 linear feet of sidewalk will be constructed. Street furniture will be provided along with street lighting, signage and planters. Two primary gateways and Tourism Police Unit booths will be constructed at key entrance points. Three vending clusters will be constructed to house 39 units. Traffic flow and security will improve significantly because of this project.

On the Southside of Belize City, Cisco Constructions is currently executing the project that will see the concrete lining of Collet Canal. The project includes the concrete lining of Collet Canal from Conch Shell Bay to Yarborough Bridge and the entire stretch of the North Creek Canal. The adjacent streets will be paved and widened; piles of rock have been dumped to make the canal narrower and the street wider. Cisco is working with at least two sub-contractors and dozens of youths from Southside Belize City are employed under the project. Phase 1 of the project, which is the stone piling, has already been completed and foundation piles are being driven into the canal.

Another project underway is the paving of Neal's Pen Road from its junction with Fabers Road to its intersection at Yarborough Bridge. A&N construction is executing that project. It includes the construction of reinforced concrete sidewalks and side drains.

A & N Construction is also executing the long awaited paving of Jane Usher Boulevard. That project includes street realignment, sidewalk construction and an extensive drainage component. The side drains in the Jane Usher area will be connected to adjacent canals in order to reduce water build up. The paving of Jane Usher Boulevard was originally included in Phase 1 of the Southside Poverty Alleviation Project but was delayed because of the presence of squatters on the road reserve. Both projects, being executed by A&N, are in their first phase, which includes the construction of a proper drainage network.

The Fort Point Pedestrian Walk Project falls under the Sustainable Tourism Project and is being financed at $5.47 million by the Government of Belize through a loan from the Inter-American Development Bank. The paving of Faber's Road, Pen Road and concrete lining of Collet Canal falls under Phase II of the Southside Poverty Alleviation Project. Paving Jane Usher Boulevard will cost $1.7 million. Paving Pen Road will cost $2.7 million and the Collet Canal project will cost $9.8 million. Phase II of the Southside Poverty Alleviation Project is funded jointly by the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) and the Government of Belize.

In addition to the major projects in the city, the Belize City Council has also paved a number of streets as part of its Hundred Day Action Plan. Streets that have already been rehabilitated includes Maskall Street, River-side Street, Mateo Ayuso Street and Clifton Betson Street. The Council is currently working on Maurice Bishop Street and other streets in need of urgent attention.

The Guardian