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Feb 19, 2014

Ministry of Works C.E.O speaks on the San Estevan/Progresso Road

That’s good news for Belize City and other municipalities who will benefit under the National Infrastructure Plan. But there is an area in the north which continues to bedevil commuters. The San Estevan/Progresso Road in recent years has raised the ire of those who live in the area. The paving of that entire stretch was to have been concluded in early 2013. It never even got underway until late last year, and it is still somewhat delayed. Ministry of Works C.E.O. Errol Gentle had an update and tentative good news for those affected by that dismal piece of road. But for Sarteneja residents who have long considered their beautiful seaside village the forgotten community, there is no good news.


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

Errol Gentle

“This road which is under the EU; it is an EU funded project and we had a lot of problems with that road before because we had to go over and do the drawings, we had problems with the contractor. Over the past month and a half, the contractor had some problems with even sourcing the materials because the pit he was using, they closed it on him; they didn’t want to give him access. That was resolved. Maybe I should show you pictures to show where working out from Progresso coming towards Orange Walk where they have been doing a lot of work so far. So work is progressing there to our satisfaction.”


Mike Rudon

“Also from the stretch from the Orange Walk Bridge going pass San Estevan, which was a horrible stretch. Has work been done on that area as well?”


Errol Gentle

“Okay that is the same road; that entire area is under the project. But because what they were doing there is just basically remedial work to improve the riding quality. But the major work as I mentioned is starting from outside of Progresso coming towards Orange Walk. That entire road will be upgraded to pave standard.”


Mike Rudon

“And in terms of the stretch to Sarteneja? Is that a part of any project in the near future?”


Errol Gentle

“No that is the responsibility of the Ministry of Works. And as you know, part of that road was under water and we couldn’t do much work there. again the water has been receding and our Ministry of Works Corozal has been doing a lot of work in there. So there has been some improvement—maybe not to the liking of the general public. What we concentrated on first was just to get it passable because most of it, part of it was impassable actually.”


Mike Rudon

“So apart from just getting it passable, there won’t be any big project on that road?”


Errol Gentle

“No, we will just be upgrading it at this time==hopefully further down the road—but at this moment, it is not under any internationally funded project.”


Mike Rudon

“Sir, correct me if I am wrong, but wasn’t money allocated for that road some years ago when the money was taken from that project and used to hot-paving I think you call it on the Albert Street and Regent Street? Am I wrong with that?”


Errol Gentle

“To be very honest, I don’t know. That is before my time. I know that that was under; if you see the sign was there, that was under an EU project before. But during those times, they were not paving the roads, they were only bringing them up to gravel standard, but they were not paving those roads. But the question you asked, to be honest I don’t know. It was before my time.”


While it did indeed happen before the time of the current C.E.O., it is true that there was money allocated to fix the Sarteneja Road. In 2008 that money was diverted by then Minister of Works Anthony ‘Boots’ Martinez to pave Albert and Regent Streets in Belize City. At the time the commitment was that money would be immediately re-allocated for the Sarteneja project. That was six years ago. 

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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3 Responses for “Ministry of Works C.E.O speaks on the San Estevan/Progresso Road”

  1. Patriot says:

    Mike Rudon, you have stated to the point, “tentative good news for those affected by that dismal piece of road.” Analyzing Gentle’s words, this road is far from becoming a reality; until the road is completed, one should believe. A new contractor has been working from last year 2013 around October up to today working on the same stretch of about two miles that a Mexican left ready to be paved. So far the Progresso/San Estevan road is worth $13 million + $12 Million (EU).

    Errol Gentle: “To be very honest, I don’t know. That is before my time….” Really??????

  2. What'snew says:

    Mike Rudon, thanks so much for doing an honest to the point interview. As usual the UDP CEO that is well taken care of knows how to brush responsibility off his shoulders. He knows damn well whether he was in charge or not at the time he knows that monies was taken by Booths Martinez to pave Albert St. and Regent St. I really wish these so called men would be man enough to speak truth. Secondly we in Progresso knows all too well that all these minister do is push dirt around the Progresso road for a couple months and then disappear with no explanation, it’s called pushing salt in your eye as the old people used to say. This will probably continue right up to election time and then when they get re elected the equipment will disappear and that will be that. I so wish the people of San Estavan and Progresso had a little more back bone to stand your ground until this government do what they are suppose to do and pave this road since they have the money from the EU already. If I am not mistaken I think all the ministers have their mansions so maybe they can be compassionate and give us the road the EU have paid them for already. Let’s hope all the CEO’s have their mansions or we are screwed.

  3. Sarteneja says:

    They should find a way to fund that money that was meant to be for paving the Sarteneja because the rainy season has started and the roads will be underwater again like last year!!!! I suggest you pave this road before it goes underwater again!!!

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