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Oct 4, 2022

New Road Replaces London Bridges in Gungulung

And, still in Lake Independence, residents of Holy Emmanuel Street, those living in the Gungulung area, can now enter and leave the neighborhood without having to traverse London Bridges. The Belize City Council was in the area today assessing work that is presently being undertaken with assistance from Lake-I Area Rep Cordel Hyde and the Ministry of Infrastructure Development and Housing. Together, they are pushing a road through the community. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Denmark Sambula

Denmark Sambula, Resident, Gungulung

“Da fifteen years I deh back ya right now and from I deh back ya I does always wonder when I wahn get road da back ya.”

 

For many years, the area of Holy Emmanuel Street known as Gungulung has been an elaborate system of raised, wooden footpaths that are colloquially referred to as London Bridges.  Residents in this disadvantaged community access their homes by crossing these makeshift boardwalks that are often difficult to negotiate and dangerous.

 

Bernard Wagner

Bernard Wagner, Belize City Mayor

“Dis area ya very dear to myself and my councilors because in 2018 and in 2020, we walked these areas which were London Bridges and we made a pledge to the residents in this area that we will do away with London Bridges.  That was part of our manifesto, and so, as you can see today, this access road that really connects Holy Emmanuel direct to the highway is being earthened.”

 

It may not be the best of streets, but residents of Gungulung are grateful that they can now move in and out of the neighborhood freely.  They can even drive into the area which was once inaccessible to vehicular traffic.

 

Denmark Sambula

“Mein, da blessings.  Da blessings from di Father and from di City Council and Mr. Cordel Hyde and all dem bally have something fi do with this, yoh undastand.  So we really appreciate this street because da years toppa years we di walk eena London Bridge, eena mud and water, drop up eena big hole and dis coulda mi get done from the past ten or twelve years when di U.D.P. government mi eena power.”

 

Regrettably, it took another administration to recognize the need to assist and make good on that promise.

 

Bernard Wagner

“It might not be the best of streets but it will serve the residents.  They no longer have to traverse this network of London Bridges, but can now walk into their homes and obviously the residents here are very, very happy and satisfied with what we are doing here.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“What is the extent of this project in terms of the scale, because the Gungulung area is known for, like you said earlier, networks of London Bridges.”

 

Bernard Wagner

“Significant.  Whenever you are able to lead or drive change such as this in respect to infrastructure where it gives better quality of life for residents.  That’s very important for us as leaders in the city.  We feel that by just starting this project, we now have to look at the drainage of the area ensuring, as you can see, we are now digging this canal and it will be completely dug out.  We plan to have the culverts installed, the network of drainage which will connect from the drains into the canals and the canals into the river.”

 

Isani Cayetano for News Five.


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