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Jun 29, 2012

Mayor cements his bond with Belize City

Streets in the downtown area are getting a much needed face lift. The roster includes ten streets that are heavily trafficked on both the north and south sides. The novelty is that nine will be paved with cement instead of asphalt, which City Hall says will better withstand the traffic and elements and is cheaper.  Mayor Darrell Bradley says the first phase of the programme will cost two million dollars. Freelance reporter Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

The deplorable conditions of the City streets have been a nuisance to many drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. But for the past couple weeks, several thoroughfares in downtown Belize City have been under repair.

 

Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor

Darrell Bradley

“Presently we are working on ten streets—nine of those streets are being cemented by various contractors; and one, Holy Emmanuel Street, is being asphalted. Some of them have been completed for example the works on South Street and Calle Al Mar are completed. The various other works; most of them are ongoing and should be completed by the end of next week—we are talking about streets like Orange Street and Thomas Vincent Street. So those should be finished. And then we will have works commencing on Daly Streets and Queen Street on Monday. The focus right now is on major streets—all the streets that we are doing currently is in the downtown area either on south side or the north side and that was really the reason why we chose them our idea is really that if we can deal mainly with the streets in Belize city it would help residents because these are the streets that everybody drives and then when the bond program comes on stream, then we can take it out into neighborhoods and the second tranche of the bond program will be focused on selected neighborhoods throughout Belize City.”

 

It’s goodbye for the most part to asphalt paving as a cementing technique is being used this time which according to engineers can better withstand, wear and tear from traffic.

 

Roque Matus

Roque Matus, Director, M & M Engineering

“We are paving the roads in concrete rather than chip-seal or asphalt. This type of payment normally tends to have thirty to forty years life rather than asphalt or chip-seal that has five to ten years at most. The other advantage of this type of pavement is that when water ponds on it; you know Belize is a low-lying area and we have a lot of problems with flooding or poor drainage. If water ponds on this road, it won’t deteriorate; it will not break up—it will maintain its integrity. It will be a much, much better road; it will have probably ten times the lifespan of the chip-seal road, but also in terms of maintenance, there will be a lot less maintenance that’s needed to be done on a road like this—it is almost maintenance free. With the chip-seal roads, there are always patching and fixing the holes and the surface of the road deteriorates quickly.”

 

One of the successful contractors is M & M Engineering. It’s Director, Roque Matus, says that two hundred feet of road is being upgraded daily.

 

Roque Matus

“We prepare the base which is the stone underneath and then we put reinforcements in the road and then we poor concrete—four thousand five hundred PSI concrete—we level it, we screen it, we vibrate it and we put a broom finish on it.”

 

Duane Moody

“How long does it take to put together something like this; to complete a job like this?”

 

Roque Matus

“Well right now we are paving like two hundred feet per day. This street for example; Thomas Vincent Ramos Street, is one thousand one hundred and sixty feet so it will be like ten days for us to complete it.”

 

Belize City Mayor, Darrell Bradley says this project is in keeping with a commitment to provide infrastructural enhancements in the Old Capital—a total of fifty percent of the city’s streets are to be upgraded.

 

Darrell Bradley

“Part of our overall infrastructure plan for Belize City. What we did was that we refinanced a one million dollar facility that allowed us to procure two large pieces of equipment and to commence some of the works. We are getting an additional short term facility to complete some of the streets that we are doing and that should roll us into our bond program and that would enable us to do a lot of the streets throughout the city and we are thinking that we will be able to upgrade substantially at least fifty percent of the streets in the city in the next two years. Currently we’ve spent about one point two million dollars on streets and we are looking at getting an additional eight hundred thousand dollars and so these initial works that we are doing would be costing us roughly about two million dollars. When the bond program comes on stream that will be a twenty million dollars program and we would think just in terms of infrastructure—the works will take us about a year and a half.”

 

 

Work is to commence on Daly and Queen Streets as soon as Belize Water Services and Telemedia’s technical infrastructures are retrofitted. Duane Moody for News Five.

 

The council advises the public that this Saturday and Sunday Queen, Daly and North Front Streets will be closed as the utility companies will be doing maintenance on the streets. It will be reopened to vehicular traffic on Monday. 

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6 Responses for “Mayor cements his bond with Belize City”

  1. Storm says:

    Cement is a lot more durable than asphalt, but from the photo, that cement looks awfully thin. My driveway is thicker than that. Has this been engineered to withstand heavy traffic, including trucks, and if so, has it been poured to those specifications?

    I think we need an inspector on the job, or we will have a worse mess and an expensive repair very soon.

  2. Youngin says:

    I visited Belize City over the weekend and was so happy to see fixed streets! Good job, City Council. I love seeing the return on our tax dollars!

  3. Rds says:

    When you see your tax dollars at work you don’t mind paying the taxes, great job Mr. Bradley, keep up the good work and i hope your team there at City Hall remains strong behind you, since it is a team effort.

  4. fureal says:

    I wish the mayor of Belmopan would think like mr Bradley . It is embarrassing to see streets that have pot holes in the capital city.

  5. get it right says:

    Its about time that we see a city council that means business. Good job so far Mr. Bradley. Lets hope it continues trhu the lenghth of your term.

  6. Louisville,Ky says:

    Storm, come to think of it, you have a very valid observation there you know. That slab is aweful thin and I don’t see even one lenght of steel to reinforce the thing. I am no Engineer but my two cents knowledge of concrete tells me that you have to have steel in cement for it to hold up.
    Awesome job Missa Bradley but, get it right the fuss time so you no have to do it over.

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