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Jul 11, 2008

Contract to pave Placencia Road finally signed

Story PictureAfter months of delay due to administrative snags, today the government finally closed a deal with CISCO Construction for the paving of the Placencia road. The twenty mile-long thoroughfare from the Southern Highway to the entrance of the village makes the ride to the Peninsula a real challenge and has been a sore point for stakeholders in the fast growing tourism industry.

The contract was inked in a ceremony held at Robert’s Grove in Placencia. Prime Minister Barrow was flanked by almost half his Cabinet including Minister of Works Anthony “Boots” Martinez, Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia, and Minister of Transport Melvin Hulse Junior. CISCO was represented by John Woods. For the parties concerned, the feat is a huge one but it will be all worth it.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow
“The new administration was able to make the word flesh, so to speak, almost immediately upon taking office, that we have been able to get this far this quickly. And I say this, not in any effort to berate or chastise the previous administration, but in order to make the point that good things happen when a national government is prepared to be transparent and to be honest and to be open. I’m especially pleased to be here because I have somewhat of a personal stake in this project. As many of you know, I have been coming to Placencia for years and years and years and my connections with the people of this particular village and of the larger peninsula are connections that I value greatly. I have a home here and I don’t get to come as often as I should and that has been because of the road. My brother has a home and a business here, my law partner has a home and a business here. So I just want to signal that for me there’s a special note of personal satisfaction.”

John Woods, Managing Director, Cisco Construction Co.
“Last Saturday I had family and friends and we went to Xinantunich. Mister Panti was our guide and he says there is over three hundred and fifty thousand tons of limestone there. I figured we’re gonna do eight hundred of them fifty thousand tons of hauling for this road, over thirty-six thousand truck loads, seven kilometers of sidewalks, it’s thirty-five thousand kilometers of road. So it’s a massive, massive project and we’ll try and do it as fast as we can and as well as we can. As far as where we will start, certainly at the start we’re gonna be jumping all over the place to try and solve the hot spots first but the first thing that happens is the survey team goes through and lays out the work for us and then we have to prepare the burrow pits and haul it in. But it’s a massive, massive project.”

In December 2006, the Caribbean Development Bank approved a twelve point six million U.S. dollar loan for the upgrade and paving of the road. Prime Minister Barrow has also announced that the C.D.B. will loan government another twenty-five million dollars to restart the D.F.C. later this year.

A smaller, but still significant amount of cash was donated to Heredia for the paving of streets and recruitment of personnel to keep his hometown of San Pedro Ambergris Caye clean. Businessmen David Mitchell and Bob Dhillon of Costa Del Sol Development handed over a cheque for three hundred and fifty thousand dollars to the Minister of Tourism at the ceremony this morning in Placencia.

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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