Today, a contract was signed between the Government of Belize and Nabeel Abdul Raheem Consultants (NARCO) and BECA International Consultants Ltd. for the services of consultancy and construction supervision of the Airport Link Road Project. The agreement was signed for BZ$4,973,500.
The Airport Link Road is approximately 8.1km (5miles). The upgrade proposed includes the construction of one high-level bridge crossing the Belize River near to the existing airport access road. The proposed alignment intersects the George Price Highway, follows some existing trails for the most part before traversing low-lying marshland with a bridge crossing the Belize River and finally intersects the airport access road, near Gentrac Belize Ltd. The project includes the construction of earthen embankments, crushed gravel pavements, and two (3.65m) lanes with paved (1.2m) shoulders conforming to a 100kph design criteria. The bridge structure has a span of 81.7 meters (3 spans at 26.7m), a trafficable width of 12.05 meters, designed to AASHTO Standards, and is of reinforced concrete build.
The services were procured by the Government of Belize as a counterpart measure to its funding partner the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID). With the no objection from the funding agency the award for the supervision of the works was made to a joint venture of the two firms, both of which have many years' experience in Belize.
The Airport Link Road Project was appraised by the OPEC Fund for International Development and presented to its board of directors who approved a loan for approximately US$12M.
A New Road To Connect George and Phillip
Belize will have a new road between the Western (George Price) and Northern (Phillip Goldson) highways.
The Airport Link Road Project - as it is called will run from mile eight on them western highway to the Airport Road. It's Five miles of road that never existed before. The Minister of Works spoke at the signing:
Today's contract is for 4.9 million Belize dollars consultancy and construction supervision of the Airport Link Road Project.
The overall project is funded by the OPEC Fund for International Development which has approved a loan for approximately US$12M.
The Government of Belize today signed a contract with CISCO Construction Ltd. in the sum of BZ$34,274,306.17 for the construction of the Airport Link Road.
The proposed upgrades for the Airport Link Road include the construction of one high-level bridge, which will intersect at the George Price highway and cross the Belize River to intersect the airport access road near Gentrac Belize Ltd.; and the construction of earthen embankments, crushed gravel pavements, and two lanes (3.65 m) with shoulders (1.2 m) conforming to a 100kph design criteria.
The bridge structure, which is designed to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) standards, has a total span of 81.7 meters (3 spans at 26.7 m); a trafficable width of 12.05 meters; and is of a reinforced-concrete build. Additional civil works include the construction of two roundabouts and 3-leg roundabouts at the intersection with the airport access road and at the intersection with the George Price Highway.
The project will be implemented by the Ministry of Works - Project Execution Unit while NARCO Consultants of Kuwait will provide technical and administrative supervision. Works are expected to commence immediately.
Funds for the Airport Link Road Project were secured through a loan from the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID).
The airport link road is near completion and features 5 miles of climate resilient road, a world class high-rise bridge, and two 3-leg roundabouts. Convenient access to the airport will save commuters time and money. The road will create a reliable detour in the event of an emergency at either entrance to Belize City and alleviate traffic congestion.
Unveiling of the Plaque for the Airport Link Road Project
A brief ceremony was held Thursday, September 24, to unveil a plaque marking the official opening of the newly constructed John Smith Road (Airport Link Road).
The John Smith Road is approximately 8.1km (5 miles). The upgrading includes the construction of a high-level bridge crossing the Belize River near to the existing airport access road. The new road alignment intersects the George Price Highway, meanders through low-lying marshland, crosses the Belize River and finally intersects the airport access road, near Gentrac Belize Ltd. The road project also includes the construction of earthen embankments, crushed gravel pavements, and two 3.65 meters lanes with 1.2 meters shoulders. The bridge structure has a span of 81.7meters (3 spans at 26.7m) and a trafficable width of 12.05 meters. It is designed to AASHTO standards and is of reinforced concrete building. Constituting a part of the civil works is the construction of two roundabouts, a three-leg roundabout at the intersection with the airport access road and a four-leg roundabout at the intersection with the George Price Highway.
Benefits of the project include reduced travel time; vehicle operating cost savings; and increased access to adjacent lands that could be used for agriculture, residential and commercial enterprises. Furthermore, redundancy in Belize's road network is increased with the addition of this new road segment, linking nearby communities of Hattieville, Western Pines, and Ladyville.
Works were completed by CISCO Construction Ltd. in September 2020 under budget at BZ$33 million. Project coordination was done by the Ministry of Works, and engineering supervision by Nabeel Abdul Raheem Consultants.
The construction of the John Smith Road was funded through a loan from the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), with financial support from the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan).
We tried out the New Link Road a few weeks ago - when we took a test
drive in a zippy electric car. The five-mile-long road which goes from
mile 8 on the George Price Highway to the airport road off the Phillip
Goldson highway, felt like a dream.
Well, now it has been officially opened and dedicated to a little-known
historical figure. The UDP leader elect said Cabinet made the decision
to invoke the memory of Johnny Smith, the first leader of the PUP:
Hon. Patrick Faber, UDP Leader Elect
"We thought long and hard in cabinet and we came up with the name of John
Smith and I know that people have been asking, who is John Smith. Well that
is exactly why we are honouring John Smith in the way that we are now
because we believe that once his name is etched on this link road
permanently that Belizeans will always want to know who he was and for the
benefit of those who don't know, John Smith along with others, some of the
great leaders of our country like Phillip Goldson and George Price, Lee
Richardson, Nicholas Pollard, these were the individuals who started the
nationalist movement in Belize and in fact, Johnny Smith as he is more
affectionately known, was the founder of the People's Committee which
Belizeans who studied history and those who were alive back then, know
fought against the devaluation of the British Honduran dollar back then in
1949 and in later transitioned in September of 1950 to become the first
political party in our country, which you all know is the People's United
Party. So John Smith was the first leader of the PUP and he remained their
leader up until 1952, so we are now standing on this road, it is going to
be known as the John Smith road and as minister Montero is suggesting, we
should even upgrade the name to a highway, since it is linking two of our
major highways, it is going to form a part of the national highway system
of Belize. So we are now on the John Smith Road."
Hon. Rene Montero, Minister of Works
"This road was funded by OPEC, supported by the government of Taiwan and it
took approximately two years to be completed and it was built by CISCO
construction and this road is very important because it will create
opportunities in agriculture also for residential areas and commercial
properties. Also it will save time when you're travelling, when you're
coming from abroad through the international airport and going either south
or west, it will save time and if you notice it was built to international
standards and it has a lot of safety features in terms of the two
roundabout that we have."
Works were completed by CISCO Construction this month, under budget at
$33 million Belize dollars. As you heard, it was funded through a loan
from the OPEC Fund for International Development, with financial
support from the Government of the Taiwan.