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#489342 - 04/11/14 05:23 AM Chetumal Bridge Project Causing Problems  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 52,988
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

Environmental and Health Hazards

Concerns over the environmental impact of the Chetumal Street Bridge project have been raised by fishermen and some residents of Belama.

We have already reported on the concerns of the squatters of the area, but our colleagues at KREM are reporting environmental impact concerns as well.

About a week ago, residents who live on the banks of the Belize River in Belama Phase 1 started seeing some changes in the waters: One concerned fisherman, Brian Claire, explained.

Brian Claire- Concerned and Affected Citizen

“The whole creek water get stagnant and stent, small fishes started to die.  You see the whole river dried right up, and the whole, eema the Creek, eena Belama, so, the water started to change and smell”.

The river fish include cranna and tuba. The only fishes seen surviving the stagnating water are the poopsies or drain fish. Apart from the smell, the works are blocking a transportation route:

Brian Claire: “I mih tink dehn mih ahn keep like dat so, maybe drive the pile and what not, but today, I see the areas narrowed right in; you see the whole river dried right up.  It is affecting us to travel to the 5 miles kennel; you can’t enter now, which is about 200 feet away from the Chetumal Street area, doubling to the left, go all the way to the bridge and enter out to Northern Lagoon and Faber.  Now, who dih come from manatee, coming river (ca’ dehn mostly come on river when the rough time and that is why they dredged that area many years ago they call the 5 miles).  They come up this side to the Belize Old River, enter in and come up to the bridge”.

Claire also said that earlier this week, a manatee apparently got lost and went into the canal in the residential area when it could not cross from one side of the river to the other.

We called the Department of Environment this afternoon to find out if an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was done for the project.

They didn’t tell us specifically if an EIA was or was not done, however according to Edgar Eck, the acting Deputy Chief Environmental Officer, told Plus News that they did give the project Environmental Clearance.

According to the Eck, when the department gives clearance to construction plan, they do so under specific terms and conditions.

The details of those terms and conditions have not been disclosed to us as yet and so we cannot say whether the ongoing project breaches the terms and conditions set by the Department of Environment.

Edgar Eck did tell us that if there are any concerns being raised of contamination in the rivers, they will need to go and investigate, but until we brought it up to them they had not received any complaints.


#491995 - 06/07/14 05:03 AM Re: Chetumal Bridge Project Causing Problems [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 52,988
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

Guys From Gang Neighborhoods Hired To Pour Cement For New Bridge

One of the most ambitious projects currently underway in Belize City is the Chetumal Street Bridge. At 5 million dollars, it will span the Belize River between Belama Phase one and Lake Independence - and provide a major release for traffic congestion in the city.

The project is well underway and is expected to be finished by the end of the year - and a big part of that is the manual labour that is being used on the project.

9 months ago, we showed you how scores of men from different city gangs were preparing the base fill for the road to the bridge by hand. Well today, 60 of them were pouring cement for the bridge. Monica Bodden stopped in:..

Monica Bodden reporting
The first big cement pour took place today for the Lake I bridge which will be linking North and Southside's of Belize City.

The 60 workmen were on the job since 9 this morning, and by 2 they were wrapping up the first half of the South Pier.

Cisco Woods - CISCO Contruction
"We've been doing our first big pour for the Lake I bridge. It's a pier, we call it the south pier and this pier is going to support the big beams that will span the river. This particular project is that we are doing everything using very labour intensive method, pouring high quality cement. This bridge is going to be built by Belizeans, design by Belizeans and using all Belizean materials except for the cement and the steel because Belize doesn't produce that. For us it's a special event. We have roughly 60 men out here, some are doing form work but the majority of them are mixing cement and placing it."

The bridge is expected to be completed by December.

Edmund Robateau - Supervisor
"Every day the guys come out with a mind set. We sit down every morning and we plan what to accomplish each day."

"Can you give us some logistics? How big the bridge will be - those sort of things."

Edmund Robateau - Supervisor
"The bridge has a width of 46 feet. The two piers have 64 feet across the river and from the pier to teh abutment has about 55 feet."

Cisco Woods - CISCO Contruction
"This bridge will help tremendously the traffic congestion on the Central American Boulevard and the Northern Highway because it will give all motorists an alternative to get to Southside from the north and that's where most of the traffic comes from. After this pouring is completed we have another pier to pour tomorrow and an abutment to pour on Monday. Once those are completed then they start to set in the beams and that will happen after about 10 days of curing of the cement they will be able to place the beams after that then we start working on the deck."

And out of those 60 construction workers, 30 of them hail from one of the biggest gang territories in the city.

Roger Anthony - "Ghost Town" Leader
"We don't really have any degree to do another job, so we could do construction and Mr. Cisco always talk us about that and once any jobs come up we get the job. Once we get the job we are ready to work. This is good for us because it occupies our mind so that we don't think stupidness, we are out here to work and make money to pay our bills. We appreciate it a lot."

Monica Bodden
"It's something that you enjoy?"

Roger Anthony - "Ghost Town" Leader
"Yes we enjoy it a lot. We always talking when we are working and when we go home we talk about it."

And we couldn't miss aspiring Engineer and UB Student - Tichele Solis- who was enjoying her internship on site.

Tichele Solis - UB Student
"it's been a wonderful experience. It's very different to actually be out here other than sitting in the classroom looking at pictures; it brings the pictures actually to life. It's not what I expected. It shows that you have to be on your toes if you want to be an engineer. You have to learn to work with different people, different personalities. If something goes wrong you have to lean to improvise to make everything runs smoothly all the time."

They finished today's pour at 1:15 pm, 15 minutes ahead of schedule.

The bridge should be finished by the end of the year.

Channel 7

#497339 - 10/28/14 04:35 AM Re: Chetumal Bridge Project Causing Problems [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 52,988
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

Chetumal Street Bridge Set for Completion by Mid-December

Millions upon millions of dollars are being spent on infrastructure works in the city. One such project is ongoing at Chetumal Street where a bridge is under construction and nearing completion. The Chetumal Street Bridge will flow to Independence Boulevard and connect to the George Price at Fabers Road Extension. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports. 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The Chetumal Street Bridge, the fourth overpass built across the Haulover Creek in Belize City, is nearing completion.  Construction began several months ago, despite initial reluctance from residents in the Belama area, and is on schedule to meet the December fifteenth deadline.

Edmund Robateau, Supervisor, Cisco Construction Ltd.

Edmund Robateau

“As you can see, we are standing on the south approach and behind us is the, you have the whole deck completed and half of the guard rails [are] up already, you know.”

Isani Cayetano

“In terms of the length of time it has taken for you guys to get to this particular point in construction, what has that been like in terms of labor and the required manpower to get the job done?”

Edmund Robateau

“Well it has taken us a good amount of time and hard work and as you can see now it is finally paying off.”

Noel Blanco

But there is still quite a significant amount of work remaining.  According to Site Engineer Noel Blanco, the detailed plan used to bring the blueprint to life includes various elements.

Noel Blanco, Site Engineer, M&M’s Engineering

“We had to take different factors in terms of getting this design done here right.  Obviously we take notes from other previous bridges we have done right.  So, in terms of the location, the purpose it can serve to determine the design.”

That design consists of wind walls being constructed on either side of the structure.  It’s a technical process, one which sees men at work from the time they arrive on the site in the morning.

Edmund Robateau

“Right now we are working on the south, southeast wind wall, we have completed the southwest and we are forming up the other guard rails on the southwest and we are working on the north approach at this time.”

Isani Cayetano

“You were mentioning something interesting to me earlier, in the sense of where we’re currently standing and the material that will fill this particular void before another layer of concrete is added.  Explain how that process will work and what’s the purpose of it.”

Edmund Robateau

“Well, the way it was designed is that the slab here that we are standing on is on fifty-five concrete piles and we’re going to full in between with hardcore and on top of that hardcore we will have the slab that will go and meet the concrete street that will be paved on the boulevard.”

Isani Cayetano

“What has the progress of this project been like in terms of seeing it from the very beginning to where it is now?”

Noel Blanco

“Well, it has really grown a lot from day one when we started with all the piling and setting out, you know.  It’s really, really something amazing to see the progress of this magnitude of this bridge here in the Lake Independence area.  What can I say, I just feel very glad that these kinds of projects are being done here in Belize.  It’s being made by Belizeans, hundred percent Belizean, in terms of the products and the works getting executed.”

Isani Cayetano

“What’s the length of time remaining for this bridge to be completed?”

Edmund Robateau

“Well we have up to the fifteenth of December to complete the bridge.”

Isani Cayetano

“And how is that target looking at this point?”

Edmund Robateau

“Well it seems like we will meet our target date.”    

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

Channel 5

#498639 - 12/04/14 12:47 PM Re: Chetumal Bridge Project Causing Problems [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 52,988
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline
Chetumal Street Bridge almost complete

The Chetumal Street bridge is now a reality. In September, it was announced that a new bridge would be constructed over the Haulover Creek which would connect Belama and Fabers Road. This was deemed necessary to alleviate the traffic which flows through the city. At the time naysayers and doomsday peddlers seeped out of the woodwork and tried to condemn the idea. “Criminals will have easy access from the ghetto to the north-side” – crap. Every possible negative criticism under the sun was thrown at the project. Those dark days for hundreds of Belizeans entering and leaving Belize City are now being illuminated by the very real prospect of a new bridge. A state of the art, locally constructed ferro-concrete bridge now spans the Haulover Creek. Just a few months ago the area where the bridge now sits was nothing but wilderness and it was almost unimaginable that such a transformation was possible with the construction of a bridge. Apart from the improved aesthetics that this bridge now provides to the area, the economic benefits it represents are unimaginable. Lets look at a simple example. A person travelling from Orange Walk town to Belmopan as it is, has to drive through Belize City over Belcan Bridge, down Mahogany Street, into Western Avenue and then unto the George Price highway. This would be from the junction of Phillip Goldson Highway and Chetumal Street to the junction of Fabers Road and George Price Highway, representing roughly, a distance of three miles. That means a loss of valuable time, not to mention the fuel that is consumed whilst in traffic. The new bridge which physically bridges Chetumal Street and Independence Boulevard will also metaphorically bridge time and money for people. It is a reality that people’s pockets will have a little more money as the expense and time of travelling will be cut by three miles.

The traffic through the city will be significantly reduced and the wear and tear on the city streets will be less. There are so many benefits that this bridge brings especially to the people who live near it. Property value will surely go up. Businesses will be established and the correct ones will definitely experience an increase in traffic. Easy and quicker access to downtown Belize City for residents of Belama and the list goes on. The bridge which cost the Government of Belize 5 million dollars was funded with Petro Caribe Funds. The same funds that the People’s United Party took the Government to court for. Just goes to show that they are not interested in development; not for Belize and certainly not for its people. The bridge was designed and constructed by M&M Engineering and made history by being the first bridge in Belize to be fully conceptualized and built by Belizeans in Belize. The estimated time for completion is for this month and by the looks of it the contractors are on target. It is a beautiful and sturdy bridge and represents the commitment that the United Democratic Party has for the people of Belize. Over and over the UDP has proven that it is by far the superior party when it comes to developing Belize and Belizeans. We should not lose focus and we must all put our shoulders to the wheel and trudge forward. The legacy we leave behind is what our children and grandchildren will judge us by. The Honorable Dean Barrow and the UDP have ensured that what Belize is being transformed into will be a legacy our grandchildren will be proud of.

The Guardian

#499292 - 12/23/14 12:13 PM Re: Chetumal Bridge Project Causing Problems [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 52,988
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

Chetumal Street Bridge partially opened to the public

In mid-March of this year, contracts were signed for the construction of the Chetumal Street Bridge, which is intended to link the Belama and Fabers Road areas in Belize City, and this week, the new bridge, which we understand is 95% complete, has been partially opened to vehicular traffic.

Yesterday, Errol Robateau, the project manager, told the media that the finishing touches are currently being put on the bridge — which is scheduled to be officially opened in January 2015 – and its approaches.

He said, “We have already completed about 95% of the bridge, and right now, we are working on the painting and design of the bridge, as well as the electrical lighting. We will also work on fixing up the approach [to the bridge] much better. The approach is like 18 inches above the flatland, so we are putting a slight seal on the hardcore [material] to smooth off the surface.”

Nine months ago, the Government of Belize (GOB) signed a $2.2 million contract for the bridge design and construction with M and M Engineering, while a $2.7 million contract for the filling of the bridge approaches and assembly of the bridge went to CISCO Construction.

The Chetumal Street Bridge – which is expected to alleviate traffic congestion on the two major highways while providing ease of access to the north and south sides of the Old Capital for at least 10,000 to 12,000 city residents – will connect Chetumal Street in Belama Phase One in north side Belize City, to a new road which runs from the George Price Highway, near the Fabers Road junction on the south side of the city, to the Haulover Creek.


#499415 - 12/30/14 04:00 AM Re: Chetumal Bridge Project Causing Problems [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 52,988
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

New City Bridge Operational

The city's newest bridge- it spans the Haulover Creek from Chetumal Street in the Belama Phase one area right over to the new Lake Independence Boulevard in the Gungulung area. Work started in March and the contractors promised to finish it by the end this year. Well, 2014 is just about finished and so is the bridge. Motorists started using it this weekend - even thought it has not been officially opened.

When we went out there today we saw on familiar face among those ager to give the new bridge a first go:...

Hon. Anthony "Boots" Martinez
"You could say its unofficially open right now, but its traverse a lot by lots of vehicles. It takes you about 3 minutes from the corner Faber's Road to the Philip Goldson Highway and also 3 minutes from Philip Goldson Highway to the corner Faber's Road. So, it eases lots of traffic early in the morning. It opens up both highway and its a good prospect for business and prosperity in the country."

Daniel Ortiz
"Talk to us about the plans for the official opening and what else you may know of the works yet to be done of this particular area?"

Hon. Anthony "Boots" Martinez
"I don't know exactly the date of the official opening, but I know work is being done on the other side to facilitate the recreation centre that will be built through the government of Belize and CDB. You have the National Bank which has a spot over there which the building should be going up, DFC and many other things. The national bus terminal, the land has already been filled, so that in itself is getting ready to spring off to. So, it's a gateway to prosperity, it's a gateway to economic activity."

Contractor CISCO Construction is still working on Lake I Boulevard. Francis Woods told us no date has been set for the official opening and that is up to the Ministry of Works.

The entire project - including the design and assembly of the bridge and the approaches cost 4.9 million dollars.

Channel 7

#499684 - 01/08/15 04:11 AM Re: Chetumal Bridge Project Causing Problems [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 52,988
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

Chetumal Street Bridge: A Timeline to Completion

It is not officially open yet, but traffic is already traversing the Chetumal Street Bridge in Belize City that spans the two highways; Phillip Goldson and the George Price thoroughfares. The estimated cost to build the bridge is a cool four point five million dollars, according to contractors, who also say the structure is one hundred percent Belizean. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The construction of the Chetumal Street Bridge, connecting the Phillip Goldson and George Price highways, epitomizes the proverb “progress brings problems”.  The platform is not officially open to vehicular traffic but it is already in use by hundreds of motorists who traverse the span daily since its completion in mid-December.

Francis Woods

Francis Woods, Cisco Construction Ltd.

“The bridge has been unofficially opened, it certainly lets traffic through but there’s a lot of construction happening on the Chetumal Street side and the Lake Independence Boulevard side.  So we’re just keeping it quiet like that.”

While the finishing touch to the multimillion dollar project is being kept mum about, viewers would recall the uproar in June 2011 when squatters on the other side of Haulover Creek were forcibly removed and their houses demolished by Ministry of Works employees.  That scenario culminated on BelCan Bridge with an all-out confrontation between residents and police officers.

Rene Garbutt

Rene Garbutt, Squatter [File: June 1st, 2011]

“I didn’t know at first that I needed to be three hundred yards farther to build my structure. My structure was already built, not entirely to live in but it started out where it’s costing me at least five thousand dollars where it’s at. The structure next to me was torn down and that house was beautiful. It was made nice and costs at least fifteen thousand dollars, you know, and these guys just came and demolished that.”

That was a little over three and a half years ago and the construction of the bridge and its adjoining access have since realized a spike in real estate value along Chetumal Street where employees of Cisco Construction are busy concreting the approach.

Isani Cayetano

“What is the timeline more or less for this work to be completed?”

Francis Woods

“Well the project that is ongoing is the section between the bridge and Albert Hoy Street and we’re doing the drains right now.  We figure within three months we should have it complete and they’re working on, I know Ministry of Works is reviewing and doing the design for the other section going to the George Price Highway.”

Prior to works commencing in the vicinity, the project was met with mixed reaction from residents of Belama Phase Two.  While some in the predominantly upper middle class community were fearful that the bridge would allow criminal elements from one side of the city onto the neighborhood, others were glad that their commute would be considerably reduced.

Irvin Nicholas

Irvin Nicholas, Resident of Belama Phase 2 [File: May 17th, 2011]

“It is a blessing for me because I have a son that lives at four and a half miles on the Western Road and to go to him I’ll just cross the bridge and reach there. Now I’d have to go way around and go that way right. If I’m visiting my next son that lives in Port Loyola I would zip over and I go.”

At an estimated cost of roughly four and a half million dollars, Francis Woods says the Chetumal Street Bridge is a hundred percent Belizean effort.

Francis Woods

“The one thing I always like to talk about is that this bridge is one hundred percent Belizean.  It’s really designed in Belize, all the beams are built in Belize.  Everything about it is Belizean and it certainly has increased safety a lot.  It’s noticeable that there is not as much traffic on Central American Boulevard and that’s where it really got hectic and safety is a concern for all the pedestrians, all the kids going to school.  A lot of heavy vehicles are using this one already and a lot of traffic so it’s very convenient.  The work is continuing and there are little pauses in transition between jobs but a lot of the folks that worked on this bridge are already working on culverts and other projects that we have ongoing.”

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

Channel 5

#500490 - 01/29/15 06:20 PM Re: Chetumal Bridge Project Causing Problems [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 22
Mark Leonard Offline
Mark Leonard  Offline
This Topic should be in the Belize District as it is NOT the New Bridge to the City of Chetumal.

Mark "Lenny" Leonard

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