The Los Lagos Community residents have been welcoming the inconvenience of traffic holdups, as the portion of the Philip Goldson Highway at the community’s entrance is being upgraded. Our news team checked out the progress of the road rehabilitation.
Duane Moody, Reporting
This is an amateur video from a tour guide showing the Philip Goldson Highway condition at mile thirteen before the November floods. It was a bumpy ride, to say the least, having to dodge potholes and the unlevelled streets after the asphalt had been chipped away. The condition of the road worsened following the rains and flooding in late November. So when road works began on that stretch of road, it came with a sigh of relief for road users.
Gilbert Neal, Mechanic
“I myself appreciate and I think the rest of people should appreciate the upgrade of the highway because I have been here from since 2003 and out there was bad and with all this rain and weather that we had, just get it worse. So it really nice that we get it fixed; I mean I got my vehicle down and can’t go out there because the road too bad to run, especially small vehicles. Big trucks and so noh too bad, but the SUVs and cars dehn just take a banging out there.”
Keisha Smith has been living in the Thirteen-Mile Community for decades before relocating across the highway to the residential community of Los Lagos. She says for forty years, that stretch has gone unfixed, damaging people’s vehicles and incurring repair costs.
Keisha Smith, Los Lagos Resident
“All my life that highway has always been a mess. And all my life I hear the highway wah get fixed and never did. So finally when you see the highway like that, it is a real improvement. When you have a vehicle, it is a waste because every other two-three months, you have to buy thyroid ends, struts or something for your car. So it costs you just to be travelling on the road also.”
Since Saturday afternoon, a portion of the highway hot mix has been placed on a portion of the highway – a welcoming smooth ride for motorists. And as the road works continue, the rest of the stretch will receive that much needed facelift. Minister of Infrastructure Julius Espat says that emergency funding has been set aside to fix major thoroughfares affected by the recent disasters.
Julius Espat, Minister of Infrastructure
“We just came through two major storms, Eta and Iota. And so cabinet had given us a budget to deal with emergency spending and that is the work that we are presently working on. The emergency destroyed a lot of main arteries; the Philip Goldson Highway that they are putting the hot mix right now is one of them. The George Price Highway coming out of Belize City all the way to the Burton Canal is also another area of concern.”
Gilbert Neal hopes that the area of the highway between the two gas stations in Ladyville would also be fixed.
“That really needs to be fixed. From the gas station from 24/7 go straight down to the Shell Gas station needs to be upgraded because the lot of traffic that goes through there every day. Especially in the morning, you trying to get to the city, you have to get up early because of the road condition, everybody goes slow.”