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Jan 16, 2018

Finally, Improvements Coming for Crooked Tree Road/Causeway

The government will be spending in the range of three quarters of a million dollars for a feasibility study and design to improve the Crooked Tree Road. The contract was awarded to the Caribbean Civil Group Limited of Nassau, Bahamas. When completed, it is expected that the stretch of four miles of road will bring significant improvement to the lives of the villagers who have been facing challenges with the current causeway. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

U.S. three hundred and seventy-five thousand ninety-two dollars and eighteen cents or over three-quarters of a million Belize dollars ..that’s  what the Government with technical assistance from the Caribbean Development Bank, will pay for a feasibility study and final design for the upgrading of just under four miles of the Crooked Tree Road and Causeway. The money is not for construction of the stretch, but to ensure that the upgrade is up to standard.

 

Rene Montero

Rene Montero, Minister of Works

“Today represents another milestone in our aggressive road infrastructure development agenda in Belize. In 2013, the Government of Belize commenced the development of a national climate resilient assessment plan which included an assessment of the road network based on the socio-economic importance and flood risk. The assessment ranked the relevant importance of specific links in the transportation network and their connectivity to the socio-economic activities. It also assess connectivity during emergency, evacuations and relief services provision support in the movement of freight and access to social vulnerable populations.”

 

The project is being undertaken by the Caribbean Civil Group Limited of Nassau, Bahamas. The scope of services will look at climate vulnerability assessment, hydraulic, and flood risk modeling as well as a community vulnerability assessment, an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment and the preliminary and final detailed designs of the Crooked Tree Road and Causeway.

 

Ray McKenzie

Ray McKenzie, Project Director, Caribbean Civil Group Ltd.

“The full team will be mobilized here the week of the twenty-second. Obviously, a part of that team includes a very established local consultancy, Young’s Engineering Consultant. We are very pleased to have them as a part of the team. So we are quite keen to providing the service and the level of a successful project in partnership with the Ministry of Works.”

 

For years, residents have been clamoring for the rehabilitation and permanent fix to the Crooked Tree causeway, which would flood annually during the hurricane season; often times, cutting off access to the protected area. The road, when completed, will provide much relief for residents and is expected to improve transportation and economic benefits for the village. Several residents also attended the contract signing ceremony today in Belmopan.

 

Rudolph Crawford

Rudolph Crawford, Crooked Tree Resident

“It is something that I work along with the ministers a lot of time and I try my best. Sometimes we have a lot of rain and it causes a lot of trouble to get the children to school and stuff like that. And sometimes I got to take the responsibility to try to get people to come in and assist us.”

 

Louise Crawford

Louise Crawford, Crooked Tree Resident

“When I was in high school, the road was bad; not even the Land Rover which was the strongest vehicle, could have crossed that road. And I remember walking from Sand Hill to Crooked Tree and didn’t even reach the village. I had to stay and yell for the boat to come and meet us. So I know that the struggle is for the kids.”

 

Edmond Castro

Edmond Castro, Area Rep., Belize Rural North

“This has been a dream come true for the people and Crooked Tree and myself. In the past, during the flooding conditions, we even lost one life because they can’t commute back and forth. The level of the water, costing the government and the people of Belize boating for gas; man power by the B.D.F., by the Coastguard; it was really inconvenient for the people in that part of my constituency. So I am grateful and thankful and I know that as soon as the design phase is complete, we will move swiftly into the construction aspect of this causeway.”

 

It is anticipated that the study will commence by January twenty-second, 2018, and expected to be completed within eight months thereafter. Duane Moody for News Five.

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