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Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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The Government of Belize is seeking funding through the Kuwait Fund and the OPEC Fund for International Development to replace two bridges in Belize City. According to Evondale Moody, BelCan Bridge and the Belize City Swing Bridge are both in urgent need of repair. A recent assessment revealed that the concrete pillars under the BelCan Bridge are already showing signs of deterioration. We spoke via Zoom with Evondale Moody, the Engineering Coordinator in the Project Execution Unit at the Ministry of Infrastructure Development, about the deteriorated bridges.

Evondale Moody, Engineering Coordinator, Project Execution Unit/MIDH

"Based on an assessment we did for the three bridges in Belize City which is the BelCan Bridge, the BelChina Bridge, and also the Belize City Swing Bridge, we have determined that two for those structures requires immediate replacement. Those are the Belize City Swing Bridge and the BelCan Bridge. The Belize City Swing Bridge has been there for quite some time and over the years they have done bridge improvement work on the structure itself. However, based on the assessment we have seen that the bridge has significantly deteriorated whereby it has a lot of corrosion on the structure and the turning table that use to make it swing does not function anymore. Similarly the BelCan Bridge has been there for quite some whole and based on our assessment we have seen that two of the piers that are in place right now needs to be replaced because for one pier we have eighteen of twenty piles that have shown signs of spalling and for the other pier we have all twenty piles that have shown signs of spalling. It is important for us to note that we cannot bring down both structures at the same time because we only have the BelChina and the Chetumal Bridges in place. If that is done we will have chaos in terms of the traffic movement. So, the idea is to have the bridges replaced one at a time commencing with the BelCan structure. Once that is done we will definitely need to have a plan in place for the construction of a pedestrian crossing somewhere adjacent to the Save-U supermarket to allow pedestrian and students who use that structure on a daily basis."

Channel 5

Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,398
Marty Offline OP
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BelCan Bridge & Swing Bridge to be Replaced

On Wednesday, we reported on the deteriorating condition of the Haulover Bridge and the vehicular load restrictions that are soon to come into effect for motorists. But like the Haulover Bridge, the Swing Bridge and the BelCan Bridge are also in disrepair and are urgently in need of being replaced. Now both bridges have a turntable feature in its design and the Ministry of Infrastructure Development and Housing is aware of the situation. Engineering Coordinator Evondale Moody spoke to News Five about the plans for those bridges.

Evondale Moody, Engineering Coordinator, M.I.D.H.

"Both of these structures need to be replaced as well. Before we went on the Christmas break we were able to obtain the detail design for both structures. So we have the completed design for the Swing Bridge and we have the completed design for the BelCan Bridge. We are just doing a design review of those two structures because those two structures are tied to the upgrading of the George Price Highway from Belize City to Belmopan; it is one package. So we have to carry out a design review in-house, within the P.E.U. and assess what the designers have presented and then give them feedback if we have any feedback. We have done that preliminary review before and so the final review shouldn't take us that long to complete. The idea is once we have completed that review, I will present it to the ministry and that in turn will lead us to commence the process for us to acquire funds to do that project. So we are looking at five contracts, thereabout, one for the Swing Bridge, one for the BelCan Bridge and three for the George Price Highway. The George Price Highway is divided into three sections - from Albert Street into section through to Hattieville; the second contract is from Hattieville to Democracia and then the third contract is from Democracia to Belmopan. So we have five contracts that we want to implement inclusive of the two bridges that we want to replace. But in terms of priority, from our position, we believe that the BelCan Bridge is more priority than the swing bridge in terms of replacement."

What Happens with the Swing Bridge?

Both bridges cannot be replaced simultaneously. The Swing Bridge has not been swung in years and efforts to restore and preserve it have become futile. Engineering Coordinator Evondale Moody was asked about happens to the historic bridge after it is removed.

Evondale Moody, Engineering Coordinator, M.I.D.H.

"The idea is that within the design that we have done, we have allocated funds that we will try and remove the structure and see if we can take it to NICH. That is our plan from the ministry's standpoint so that it can be used for some archaeological viewing in the future. So the idea is not to just cut it up and dismantle it. We are going to try and see if we can salvage it as much as we can from where it is. That will be a challenge by itself for us to move that structure. So that's a project within a project itself. So that's what our plans are for the swing bridge. The BelCan Bridge itself is a different monster. Basically we will have to take that apart because it is in three sections and then we will have to demolish the existing piers that are there. It also has a turntable which has not swung in quite some time as well and so we will have to demolish that turntable similar to what we have to do for the Swing Bridge because both of them have turntables in the middle of the river."

Channel 5

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