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Jul 29, 2013

When will hardest working mayor finish the streets?

Mayor Bradley also confirmed that no part of negotiations with Belize Waste Control involved an extension or amendment of that company’s contract with the Belize City Council. So with garbage matters out the way, the issue is city infrastructure – specifically the seemingly unending street works which have resulted in the loss of revenue to businesses, frustration, inconvenience and traffic congestion. News Five’s Mike Rudon got an update from Mayor Darrell Bradley.

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

If you’re a glass half full kind of person, then there is good news coming out of City Hall today. Mayor Darrell Bradley says that it’ll only be another three months or so before the street insanity ends and things start looking up as far as traffic is concerned.

 

Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor

Darrell Bradley

“We will see substantial alleviation in the traffic woes going into October and November of this year and that is when we will substantially move away from the downtown areas. A major headache has been the substantial delays and I will concede that there has been substantial delay with respect to the North Front Street Project. That’s a major artery going into the downtown community. We are working on that simultaneously with our efforts on New Road. And that is one street going in and one street coming out—major arteries. And when you close down those roads, it is going to cause a problem. B.W.S. had to go back on North Front Street and that’s the difficultly in terms of the delay. We are trying to have them accelerate their works and as soon as they move out of the ending portion of that, then our contractors will go back. It is only from the area of Victoria Street to the Swing Bridge. About sixty percent of the work has already been completed, but that area again is causing substantial delay.”

 

A lot of that delay and inconvenience seems unnecessary to observers. Case in point a large portion of Baymen Avenue, which was broken up by B.W.S. months ago and still hasn’t been touched by the City Council’s contractors.

 

Darrell Bradley

“People may not appreciate that there is a legal process that is involved here…that they will indicate to us when they have signed off on a street. Just because a street appears to be dormant; that there is no work crew on that street presently, does not mean that the work has been completed on that street and it does not mean that B.W.S. has signed off on the street. When they sign off on the street and they have passed the street over to us; that means that we go there and we concrete the road. And when we concrete the road, any further problem that occurs on the road is then the responsibility of B.W.S. because we have allowed them the full time. If we move before they have given us that sign off, then there is that difficulty because they will say that we have interrupted the finishing of their work and we don’t want to do that. We are spending public funds and when we spend public funds, we want to ensure that we allow maximum time to the utility companies to do what needs to be done so that when the streets are completely, they don’t have to in a week later or months later, go into the road.”

 

With some semblance of an end in sight, even if still months away, the Mayor says that they are moving as fast as they possibly can.

 

Darrell Bradley

“We had done the BelChina approaches; we have done the BelCan approaches; all of that is complete. We are waiting to do the roundabout. We are on several streets in the downtown area. We are going to do East Canal. So like our works on the downtown: we are going to do Douglas Jones Street. As soon as these works are completed, you will have substantial alleviation because when these works are done, then we will no longer be in very critical, traffic intensive areas of this city and people will have less concerns.”

 

Currently the City Council is working on eighteen streets in addition to large projects like the B.T.L. Park and the Battlefield Park. Mike Rudon for News Five.

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