The Ministry of Infrastructure Development and Housing informs the public that the retaining wall/revetment constructed in 2009, which has been supporting the road structure near Mile 7 on the Philip Goldson Highway, was undermined last night by undercurrents of the Belize River. This has unfortunately reduced the effective width of the highway at this location and the roadway has been restricted to a one and half lane access until further notice. The public is, therefore, advised to exercise extreme caution and to observe all safety measures in place when approaching the area.

The Ministry of Infrastructure Development has intervened to contain and control further undermining of the road structure and is actively reviewing several options to ensure a well-designed and permanent revetment is expeditiously installed where the existing retaining wall has failed.

During the ongoing drafting of plans and procurement of imported materials, the ministry will widen a 300-foot section of the roadway to ensure that motorists may continue to move unimpeded and have safe access on the highway.

The ministry apologizes for the inconvenience and assures the public that it will provide updates on the progress of the design, procurement and construction of the new revetment wall.

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A section of the Philip Goldson Highway near mile seven has washed away. The embankment collapsed into the Belize River, along with it a significant portion of the pavement. It caused a backup in the flow of traffic on the main thoroughfare as commuters headed to and from the city. But the Ministry of Infrastructure Development and Housing quickly responded to the area and began with remedial works. Those efforts continued today and News Five spoke with Chief Engineer Lennox Bradley about what happened, especially since millions of dollars were spent on the upgrade of the highway back in 2016.

Lennox Bradley, Chief Engineer

"It appears that the undercurrents from the Belize River undermined the revetment wall that was supporting the road structure on the Philip Goldson Highway near mile seven and that made the wall be compromise. It has effectively reduced the usable width of the road to a three hundred-foot section or thereabouts at mile seven. And so we intervened last night to try contain further undermining of the road at that section there and try to control any settlement. We do expect that there will be a bit more settlement because the angle of repose has to be achieved for the material that is there before the settlement reduces to an acceptable level. And therefore we are monitoring it."

Channel 5