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Aug 5, 2008

Kendal closed to vehicular traffic … again

Story PictureReports to News Five this afternoon confirmed that the Kendall causeway in southern Belize is again under water and impassable tonight after heavy rains over the weekend. The causeway had to be closed last Friday but by Saturday morning it was opened again to vehicular traffic. Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Works, Cadet Henderson says that the interruptions to vehicular traffic are not expected to last for long periods. And according to Henderson, the Bridge promised by the U.S. government in early June when Tropical Storm Arthur hit southern Belize, will take longer to deliver than anticipated.

Cadet Henderson, C.E.O., Min. of Works
“That initial event that caused the collapse of the bridge was rather excessive but all the other floodings events we’ve had thereafter were less than twenty-four hours at a time so we believe that by later today or at its latest early tomorrow morning we should be able to restore access to the area.”

Marion Ali
“Sir can you tell us what is the situation with this army bridge that is to be installed now? I think it’s around this period that that was expected to be installed right?”

Cadet Henderson
“Yeah, there has been much delay in the procurement on the part of the U.S military, U.S government. I’m just off the phone with the U.S. Military Liaison Office and I was reminded that they are still in the legal review phase, meaning that they are doing their legal reviews on the bids that were received and the last communication indicated that they required sixty more days before the bridge could actually be supplied to Belize. So that would put us on the outskirts of the rainy season.”

“If we indeed install this bridge as proposed this bridge will be elevated above flood levels and so we expect unimpeded access and no closure during the rainy season. This would be a bridge that would be elevated and would be at a position that it does not conflict with the new permanent replacement that the C.D.B. funded.”

Marion Ali
“That C.D.B. funded bridge again, when is that expected to come on stream.”

Cadet Henderson
“The process begins now. We have a timeline on it that has been suggested to us by the bank. We just printed the first copy yesterday. We’ll review it and we’ll compact that timeline so that we can have an earlier time of delivery for completion. But as I said, we just got it and we are going full speed ahead with that. We have official clearance to proceed from the bank and we’ve been giving it high priority.”

Marion Ali
“So two years, three years? How long will it take?”

Cadet Henderson
“Less than two years for the full process. The bridge itself, I’m hoping that the bridge could be built within twelve to fourteen months.”

Viewers will remember that the Kendall Bridge was swept away by powerful flash floods following the passage of Arthur. According to Henderson, the crossing at Mullins River remains open and there are no flood threat at present.


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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