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Feb 18, 2019

G.O.B. Signs Contract to Rehabilitate George Price Highway

Today, the government signed a nineteen million dollar contract with Imer Hernandez Development Company Ltd to rehabilitate roughly ten miles of the George Price Highway, starting at Blackman Eddy Village and ending at the roundabout in Santa Elena, Cayo. These upgrades, according to the Ministry of Works, are being paid for through a loan from the Inter-American Development Bank, a grant from the European Union – Caribbean Investment Facility and counterpart funding from the Government of Belize. The works are expected to begin within the next few weeks and will run for about eighteen months. This morning, C.E.O. in the Ministry of Works Errol Gentle told the media that the scope of work includes upgrades that are to meet international standards.  Minister of Works Rene Montero was also on hand – and he defended the award of that contract to the Imer Hernandez – he said G.O.B. had nothing to do with the selection but Imer Hernandez was the best of the bunch.

 

Errol Gentle

Errol Gentle, C.E.O., Ministry of Works

“We will be doing the upgrade of the highway; changing both the horizontal and vertical alignment; the widening of the road; drainage; safety barriers; marking of center lines and edge lines. Very importantly, a lot of drainage work. You know everything now has to do with climate change and so our infrastructure if it is supposed to last the test of time has to be climate resilient. One might ask sometimes why the project is so expensive; it is simply because we are building the highway to last twenty-five – fifty years. But we building for climate resilience as well as safety standards.”

 

Reporter

“They’ve heard Mr. Hernandez’s name many times for several projects and some have criticized that it is only because he is related to Mr. Vega that he wins these bids. What is your response to that?”

 

Rene Montero

Rene Montero, Minister of Works

“Well, we have to abide by the bank procedures and rules and regulations. First it involves the design phase and then it goes through tender. Actually, the tender process is done by consultants, international consultants. It is not the government of Belize that decides this. We published it and we got about seven contractors that bid. After reviewing all the contracts, Mr. Hernandez won the contract. He was the most qualified. He presented all the requirements that the bank needed the engineers and the experience. Finally, it is the bank that decides – they are the ones that decide who will get the contract. It is the not the government of Belize that has any input on this. It is the consultant that gives us the green light and the bank that gives the green light – and without this we would not sign the contract.”

 

These works are considered to be the third installment in a series of works on the George Price Highway. The works include the new bridge being installed in Roaring Creek and the upgrades of the stretch of highway from Roaring Creek to Blackman Eddy Village.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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  1. concern says:

    Hernandez again????…Montero knows the bias on which that contract was awarded…19 million for only 10 miles of road to rehabilitate..please i am sucking my finger…the ICJ movement is coming and most of that money will be use for political movement and politicians pockets and further sink Belize with a YES vote to the ICJ..why Belizeans continue to accept this nonsense??? Where is the opposition??

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