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George Price Highway rehabilitation #529237
03/07/18 01:31 PM
03/07/18 01:31 PM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 65,171
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
The project George Price Highway Rehabilitation aims to improve the road connectivity within Belize’s main districts and with Central America by rehabilitating the George Price Highway road infrastructure between miles 47.9 in Belmopan and 67.3 in Santa Elena to national standards, decreasing travel time and costs, reducing road fatalities and injuries, and ensuring road accessibility by improving the corridor’s climate change resilience.

The George Price Highway is a two lane highway that begins in Belize City on the Caribbean Sea and proceeds west across Belize over mostly flat terrain until reaching the Guatemalan Border past Benque Viejo del Carmen. The section to be rehabilitated spans from the junction with the Hummingbird Highway on the western edge of the national capital of Belmopan to the Loma Luz roundabout at the entrance to the twin towns of Santa Elena and San Ignacio.

The project consists of three components:

  • Civil works and maintenance: rehabilitation of the roadway between miles 47.9 and 67.3, replacement of the Roaring Creek Bridge, and two years of road maintenance
  • Institutional strengthening: training in structuring of performance-based contracts for maintenance, environmental safeguards application in accordance with the Inter-American Development Bank’s policies, use of national design standards and the use of HDM
  • Engineering and administration: setting up of the Project Execution Unit, project support and oversight.


Also more details :

Q1: TITLE OF CASE STORY Belize George Price Highway (GPH) Rehabilitation (Improving Belize’s Main Transportation Corridor for further integration into RICAM -The International Network of Mesoamerican Highways)

Q2: CASE STORY ABSTRACT The project aims to significantly improve the road connectivity within Belize’s main districts to rest of Central America, as well as improving linkages to the popular tourist destinations, by rehabilitating the road infrastructure of Belize’s central corridor - the GPH. This enhancement will occur between Miles 47.9 in the capital Belmopan and 67.3 in Santa Elena (19.4 miles) to elevate to world standards, decrease travel time and costs, reduce road fatalities and injuries, and to ensure road accessibility by improving its resilience to climate change. Maintenance over the last decade has been unable to keep up with the demands of increasing tourism industry, agricultural and petroleum production and cross-border trade. This corridor is a key component of the trade facilitation infrastructure, both for national purposes and as a spoke in the regional Mesoamerican trade network hub.

But see the full article in this PDF

Roaring Creek, is just outside Belmopan, Blackman Eddy is on the Western Highway, where it says Mount Hope, just before the turn-off to Spanish Lookout.

Presently, I regard this section of Belize roads, that is the Belmopan "T" junction, new roundabout, to the San Ignacio, or Santa Elena new roundabout, as the most dangerous section of road in the country. Due to the number of villages along this section of road, the narrowness of the road, its broken edges, the hills causing headlight blindness and many sharp bends.

Hugh Leyton

Government of Belize Press Office PRESS RELEASE

Rehabilitation of Portion of the George Price Highway

Belmopan. March 7th, 2018. The Government of Belize, through the Ministry of Works, has signed two contracts to carry out rehabilitation works on the George Price Highway between the City of Belmopan and Blackman Eddy Village. These works entail the construction of a new bridge in Roaring Creek and rehabilitation works along the route including the replacement of culverts, construction of new drains, paving, signage as well as earthworks including transporting, placing and compacting. All these works require the use of heavy construction equipment and workmen on site.

The Ministry of Works is committed to keeping the highway safe and passable during this time and therefore asks the public to please exercise extreme caution when approaching and driving between Roaring Creek and Blackman Eddy Villages, specifically miles 51 and 55, and to be guided by the road signs during the execution of these works. Motorists are urged to allow extra time to reach their destinations and to reduce speeds and exercise caution when travelling through project work areas. The estimated duration of works in this area is 3 months.

The Ministry of Works takes the opportunity to thank you in advance for your cooperation and apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause. The Project Execution Unit can be reached at 822- 0100/1942.

The George Price Highway Rehabilitation is being funded through a Loan from the Inter-American Development Bank, Grant funding from the European Union - Caribbean Investment Facility (CIF) and the Government of Belize.

Re: George Price Highway rehabilitation [Re: Marty] #529495
03/21/18 10:53 AM
03/21/18 10:53 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 65,171
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
Road Works Reminder - Teakettle - Ontario areas

Road works will be starting soon on the Western highway, between Teakettle through to the Spanish Lookout turn-off area. Allow extra travelling time, and take care near the roadworks areas. There may even be some diversions, not quite sure where yet.

Rehabilitation Works along the George Price Highway

As part of the ongoing rehabilitation of the George Price Highway between Roaring Creek and Iguana Creek, works will commence on the highway and its vicinity and will continue for the next 18 months.

The Ministry of Works and contractor “Tiechroeb and Sons Ltd.” are committed to keeping the highway safe and passable during this time, and therefore asks the public to please exercise extreme caution when approaching any location where work is being carried out and to be guided by the road signs and flag personnel during the execution of these works.

Works are scheduled to commence at the “Z Curve” (Mile 53) near Teakettle Village and Warrie Head from March 22, 2018, through September 1, 2018. This section will be temporarily closed and a detour will be provided to allow the flow of traffic during this time.

As preventative safety measures, motorists are advised to watch for warning signs and cones along the highway and watch for men at work on and around the highway during normal work hours. It is strongly advised that as a precautionary measure, motorists be ready to experience traffic delays, be prepared to fully stop, reduce speed to 15mph when approaching warning signs, or as indicated by traffic controllers wearing orange vests.

Re: George Price Highway rehabilitation [Re: Marty] #533423
11/24/18 05:26 AM
11/24/18 05:26 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 65,171
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

GOB borrows US$7 million more for George Price Highway Rehabilitation

This morning, at the sitting of the House of Representatives, the Government passed a bill to borrow seven million US dollars from the inter-American Development Bank. The money is an additional sum to the 27 million US dollars that the Government had received as loan for the George Price Highway Rehabilitation Project back in 2015. That project encompasses three components including civil works and maintenance, institutional strengthening, and engineering and administration. According to Prime Minister Dean Barrow, the original loan is not sufficient to execute all related components. Government now needs the seven million US dollars to pay for, among other things, supervision of civil works, the relocation of utilities, and environmental and social mitigation measures for some twenty miles of road between Belmopan and the Santa Elena bypass. While admitting the need for rehabilitating the highway, Cordell Hyde, PUP Lake Independence Area Representative, expressed the Opposition’s concern on the additional loan.

Cordel Hyde Deputy Party Leader PUP: “These are the kinds of things you see in textbooks that speaks about things that are not so above board, you under price in the beginning and then you come back for more later on and we are in a difficult position because we can’t not support this but it has to go on. But I think the revealing thing about this is that it reveals just how shady the Fabers Rd. project was because here you are talking about 19.4 miles to pave and outfit, 19.4 miles and it’s coming up at 68 million dollars close to 70 million dollars which would put a mile of road at 3.4 million dollars each thereabouts, we are talking about to cover supervision of civil works, utilities relocation, environment and social mitigations, measures and so on 3.4 million dollars per mile and the bumpiest and ugliest mile of paved road we have seen in this country outside of Lake Eye Blvd. Fabers Rd. cost us you know much Madam Speaker 8 million dollars. Those on the other side need to tell the Honorable house exactly what it it cost to pave a mile of road because it’s late 8 million dollars in Belize City for a road that is sub par, a road that is ugly, bumpy, you old and you sick you can’t go on that road because bad things will happen to you. If you pregnant worse but now we come to the house and say well from Roaring Creek to Santa Elena is going to cost 3.4 million dollars. There is a whole other figure for the Philip Goldson Highway so really I don’t like this Madam Speaker, I think we need to get it right from the first start. I think we need to know exactly how much a project is going to cost because we come to this Honorable House and talk about millions of dollars like its monopoly money. 80 million dollars for the Caracol Rd.

Rene Montero Minister of Works and Transport: “This is the facts Madam Speaker that we require a lot of land so that we can widen the streets and make it safe for the people in that area . Thank you Madam Speaker.

Honorable Dean Barrow: This is the safeguard that the member and all Belizeans have, You are not talking about a locally funded project, you are not talking about a locally conceived exclusively and implemented project. This project from start to finish has the back stop of the IDB: first of all they don’t agree to lend you money for project except that project has been put under the microscope by their technical people both with respect to engineering, design etc and financing and they do not agree to a level of funding and then have you come back and ask for more and accept that more is required except they then put you under an even more elevated level of scrutiny to make absolutely sure that everything is on the up and up. You can’t try nothing with the IDB Madam Speaker and that is the ultimate fail safe with respect to a project such as this.

The load is for a term of twenty five years and will be disbursed over a four year period.


Re: George Price Highway rehabilitation [Re: Marty] #533506
11/29/18 06:02 AM
11/29/18 06:02 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 65,171
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

More Bickering Over Costly GPH Rehab Project

And of course the George Price Highway Rehabilitation Project was among the discussion topics. That's the project with the $14 million additional financing from the Inter-American Development Bank including construction of a new Roaring Creek Bridge. As admitted by Minister of Works Rene Montero in the House on Friday, monies are needed at least in part for acquisition of lands in the area to widen the road. But Business Senator Mark Lizarraga harshly criticized the complete handling of the project by the Government, including paying extra monies for a re-design of the bridge and shading the true purpose of the loan. Leader of Government Business Godwin Hulse responded that the protocols put in place for the management of the project are intact - it's just the estimates that were wrong.

Mark Lizarraga, Senator - Business Community
"I came in possession of a document from one of the supervising companies which is a firm IMC out of England and when they identified that the 2 million plans that we paid for were not good, they were dangerous and a host of other things. They identify savings that we were going to have saving by what they called value engineering. So were certainly expecting to see the cost go down, not go up. Wouldn't that have been nice? Because the original bridge was on unsafe and over design in some aspects. A local firm was tasked with the redesigned and it appeared, certainly from the report that I saw that there were going to be substantial savings. So that again was a shock for me to see that now rather than a savings, the cost has gone up for those things that were mentioned in the motion which we brought up inside and certainly this thing about land acquisition just come out of left field, because it certainly in none of the documents that we saw."

Godwin Hulse, UDP Senator
"The estimates were wrong."

"That's what the report says."

Godwin Hulse, UDP Senator, Leader of Gov't Business
"That also is not correct. Estimates were wrong because there were lots of things that were not taken into consideration and there was a lot of work done after the design, after the estimates. They didn't take into consideration a lot of things that should happen to get it the way it should be. I want to get to the other point. It is not fair to suggest that as Senator Thompson said that this is some hustle. Let us not take on to ourselves the responsibility to be the engineers. There are people in the ministry. They are competent people. They are people with character and dignity and you cannot go through and be disparaging them and laughing at them. That's not right. I could take all the criticism, but those people in the Ministry of Works and I have a lot of engagement with them. Yes, there are some complaints. There are people in every ministry, heads of department that is under all kinds of pressure and its not everybody that is that meticulous."

The motion went to a division on the second reading which went along party lines, seven to six in favour with Churches Senator Ashley Rocke casting the tying vote, ahead of a third reading later in the session. But there was much discussion about the new revelations made by Senator Lizarraga this morning, including that costs on the road that will now top up to 81 million dollars could have been reduced. Government Senator Aldo Salazar contended that it didn't really matter, while Anthony Mahler, sitting in for Eamon Courtenay, said he could not see how the I.D.B. could entrust their monies to a crew who apparently cannot manage well.

Aldo Salazar, UDP Senator
"As far as I know we are dealing with an international lending organization, the IDB. They have certain approved contractor to do certain things. They go by international standards. A lot of times people in Belize cannot qualify to do certain things. Say a bridge design, I'm guessing. In order for you to qualify you have has to design 20 bridges before, you have had to done this X, Y and Z. There is significant standards before you can qualify, before you can even pre-qualify to submit a design for these sorts of things when you are dealing with an international lending organization. That design as far as I understand was sent out, a considerable cost, yes, but it was sent to a qualified bridge designer. That has nothing to do with the government of Belize. The selection of that designer wasn't done by the government of Belize. So if there was a mistake with the design, that's not the government's fault."

Anthony Mahler, PUP Senator
"What I am hearing from the other side is that we in Belize supposed to take what we get from the IDB? So it's like you go in Footlocker and you know your foot is size 11 and you want to buy a tennis or a shoes and they are telling you to wear a size 8. The bridge drop short and then they says that okay. No man, that is craziness. Guess who is paying for these works, it's the Belizean people. Not IDB and I could tell you from experience that we've in Belize have put IDB in check before. Not because they say they are right, they are right. No man. This is nonsense."

Channel 7

$14 Million More for Rehabilitation of George Price Highway

There were fireworks in Senate today on two matters that required ratification to pass. First, last week in the House, the Government passed a motion to borrow fourteen million dollars more from the International Development Bank for the George Price Rehabilitation project.  That loan is to top off another fifty-four million dollars borrowed back in 2015 for the same project which involves the paving of twenty miles of highway from the Roaring Creek Bridge to the Hawkesworth Bridge in Santa Elena. During the House meeting, the government side, namely Minister of Works Rene Montero and Prime Minister Dean Barrow, said that the monies were for the reclamation of land along the highway.  It passed in the House though questions were raised about the additional funding.  When it went to the upper chamber today, five days later, the purpose of the money was different even though it was said that it falls well within the category of social mitigation. For context, we share what PM Barrow told the House.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow [File: November 23rd, 2018]

“The Minister of Works has answered. You know how it is Madam Speaker. You believe that in acquiring properties that you need in order to widen the roadway that you can negotiate reasonable prices from the land owners. Of course it never, ever turns out that way. People have you over a barrel. They know that you must acquire their lands and they insist on getting prices for that acquisition that any reasonable person would consider extortionate but so it is.”

Mark Lizarraga, Senator for Business Community

“There’s the matter that in the House, it was announced that this money was to reclaim land, to pay for land. But the documents that we receive in the senate do not agree with that. The documents state that they are for different things, different expenses: administration, relocating of poles, civil works, etcetera which we had already approved monies for those long ago. So had the piece of legislation come—the bill that’s before us, the motion before us—had that come and said for land reclamation, then we could have asked where’s the land, where are you buying it; get some sort of response. But there’s confusion it seems between what the prime minister has said, what the minister had said in the House and what we are seeing today before us. So that is concerning.  Eight hundred thousand for administration, moving of light poles. Well the road is not longer so why are we moving more light poles? You would have expected that that would be dealt with in the first loan of fifty-odd dollars. So it just wreaks of a disorganized approach; I just wreaks of to me, poor management, poor planning.”

Valerie Woods, P.U.P. Senator

“I am a little bit confused now. At first, at least in the reading of the papers I got, referred to civil works and maintenance, but I see my colleague Senator Salazar is saying almost definitively that the reason for the overruns is for land acquisition. My understanding, having checked with the financial secretary, that loan moneys really ought not to be used for land acquisitions and so I think that the difficulty that we are having and that Senator Lizarraga has expressed in his research is to identify specifically what really is the overruns that have occurred that has resulted in a fourteen-million-dollar additional expense on a project that had gone through some thorough research, thorough design to ensure that we would not have been in this position.”

Senator Valerie Woods also questioned who will oversee that the loan contract is transparent because a contractor general has still not been named. 

Where are the Details of the Multimillion-Dollar Contract?

Even so, the loan was approved by a majority of senators this afternoon. Most of the road is still under repair and the Roaring Creek Bridge is incomplete. The new loan brings the total cost of the road rehabilitation project to over eighty million Belize dollars. Private sector Senator Mark Lizarraga says that there is need for transparency and accountability on the part of the government since substantive savings were expected from the initial loan in 2015. Lizarraga also contended that he will make good on an offer by Attorney General and senate colleague, Michael Peyrefitte to be given access to the details of contracts.

Mark Lizarraga, Senator for Business Community

“We haven’t even seen a portion of the road completed. We’ve seen works on maybe four miles, if that; works have begun. And already we are asking for more money. To compound it, I came in possession of a document from one of the supervising companies, IMC out of England, and when they identified that the two million dollar plans that we had paid for were not good—they were dangerous and a whole host of other things—they identified savings. That we were going to have savings by what they call value engineering. So we were certainly expecting to see the cost go down; not go up. Wouldn’t that have been nice? The Contractor General has said that the government has an obligation to provide us with the contracts—not only the loan contracts, but the contracts for the actual projects, which we have never seen. So today, as a legislator, I can’t say how many lanes that bridge will have in Roaring Creek. I can’t tell you how many lanes the road will have. I can’t tell you anything about how we are spending your eighty-one million dollars. I am sorry I can’t. So yes, that is less than accountable, that is less than transparent. And this government came to power promising transparency and accountability in the spending of the people’s money. Is that too much to ask?”

Michael Peyrefitte, U.D.P. Senator

“Any senator in this senate who does not have the information that they say they want, they really don’t want that information. But it is convenient to come here and give the public the impression like this is some Gestapo government running with so much secrets behind closed doors; no man. No man; if you wanted a contract for this, contract for that; if it exists sir, you are entitled to have it not just as a Belizean and member of the public, but indeed a member of the Upper House. Whatever is the argument on the merits, whatever, whatever Mister President. That is fine. But I am tired of hearing senators saying that they don’t have access to information.”

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