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Dec 1, 2015

Roads Constructed Weeks Ago Already Breaking Up

There is unprecedented infrastructural works ongoing across the country, projects funded through the Petrocaribe bounty and others through monies from various lending agencies. It was a major platform of the government’s campaign to successfully win a third term in office – that infrastructural push from north to south, east and west…across every municipality and in rural communities. But here’s the thing. Infrastructure is good, and needed. But is it being done right? They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. We’re not sure what the roads to political gratification were paved with, but whatever it was, it didn’t stick.

Mike Rudon has the story. 

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

This section ofLiberty AvenueinOrangeWalkTownwas paved literally two weeks before general elections. We were in that municipality doing pre-election coverage while it was being done. This work, and other projects all around the country, is part of a time-honoured though not exactly honourable tradition spanning generations of politicians – lots of very visible work done just before an election.

 

Elodio Aragon Jr., U.D.P. Candidate, Orange Walk East (FILE Oct 14, 2015)

Elodio Aragon Jr.

“Of course in Orange Walk Town if you look behind us you’ll see the upgrade, the paving of Liberty Avenue and that is a major accomplishment right now. This is the first phase of Liberty Avenue. We hope to get that opportunity to continue on the Phase two and Phase three of this area and definitely this is only the start of what will come for Orange Walk East.”

 

There’s actually a reason why this practice has become tradition. It generally works. But just look at that beautifully paved road now. You could be excused for thinking the material was stuck on with play-dough. The work held up less than a month, just long enough to get past elections. The thing is thatLiberty Avenuedoes actually fall under the jurisdiction of the Town Council, so it’s been the cause of some contention between Aragon and the Mayor.

 

Kevin Bernard

Kevin Bernard, Mayor, Orange Walk Town

“We had gotten a letter from him stating that he was going to pave a portion of Liberty Avenue and the junction of the Palmar Boundary Road that joins Liberty Avenue. We know the type of work that was done and the results are now showing. What I can tell you is that we know for a fact that two hundred and fifty-thousand dollars was allocated for the paving of that road, and I can tell you that compared to the type of work and the level of investment we did on Guadalupe Street, that ain’t no two hundred and fifty thousand dollars worth of work, so I think that we have been small changed and I think that we need to challenge the Area Representative to go back and fix that road because at the end of the day this is not even a month after and the road is totally, totally in shambles. It is a disgrace to see if that was two hundred and fifty-thousand dollars…it is two hundred and fifty thousand dollars of taxpayers’ money gone to waste.”

 

Residents are also waiting for Phase Two and Phase Three as promised, since all the work on the road stopped on Election Day. But that’s another story. The question now is…who’s going to repairLiberty Avenue?

 

Kevin Bernard

“He wanted the work. Get the job done, and get it done right. You are the Area Representative. You are responsible for the East. If you are the so-called Son of the East, then go and work. Put the money where your mouth is. At the end of the day while we as a council are responsible for street maintenance, it is the government that must bring in the infrastructural investment in all municipalities. We haven’t been getting that, so what you see we have been doing – the cementing portion of Progress Street, the Guadalupe paving, the Mahogany and Sapodilla paving…these are works that we have been doing by our people’s resources, the taxpayers of Orange Walk Town. So while Mr. Aragon can get on his radio and try to cast blame back on the Council, that work is his doing and he must fix his mess.”

InBelmopanthere is more of the same. This stretch ofConstitution Drivewas paved weeks ago, before elections. It is now literally gutted with potholes. When residents complain too much, workmen put sand in the holes. That last only until the first drizzle washes it away. Then there’s this stretch ofForest Drivein front of thePoliceTraining School. The first section was completed weeks ago. It already sports potholes which get larger every day.

 

It is not exactly clear what role the Ministry of Works plays in these projects, though we have been reliably informed engineers from that Ministry must give approval at each stage of the work. We are also informed that there is some measure of payment withheld from contractors for instances when there is the need for remedial work. That is little consolation at this point, and doesn’t answer the question of why the roads being built today break up in a matter of weeks. Mike Rudon for News Five.

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3 Responses for “Roads Constructed Weeks Ago Already Breaking Up”

  1. Truth says:

    That is normal in the grand schemes of things here in Belize. The money always goes in someone else’s pocket and hiring the wrong persons to do the job is always the way to go..a conflict of interest always. so whats new.. Garbage in DO EXPECT Garbage out

  2. Kay says:

    Would like to know who’s responsible for the road ways through Ladyville? To be exact the section of the Philip Goldson Highway between mile 11 and 13. I’ve been travelling through this area for over 20 years and only once have I ever saw it properly repaired, since then, all that is done is filling the holes with huge lumps of filling then it feels like you’re driving on an over-sized cheese grater. When the rain comes you are right back to a war zone of dodging potholes and flying stones. There is no escaping the potholes that drivers are resorting to the grassy shoulder of the road as passage way. It’s almost like open-season on pedestrians or cyclists travelling in that area as they have to be running from flying stones among other things. Someone needs to earn their pretty pay checks and get to doing some serious infrastructural rehabilitation before we have unnecessary casualties.

  3. Belizean Pride says:

    They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. We’re not sure what the roads to political gratification were paved with, but whatever it was, it didn’t stick.

    THESE SAYING IS WHAT SHOULD BE THROWN IN THEIR FACES NOW, BUT AS ALWAYS PEOPLE TEND TO BE BRAINWASH LIKE KIDS WITH CANDIES. THEIR SLOGAN WAS “BETTER IS YET TO COME” WHEN RECENTLY THE CHRISTMAS CHEERS IS NO GOING TO BE THE SAME LIKE LAST YR. HOPE THAT THOSE THAT PROUDLY SHOUT IT, WORE THE SHIRTS NOW DON’T CRY FROM THE SHORTAGE THEY’LL BE IN.

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