The Ministry of Works signed a contract valued at more than seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars with Caribbean Civil Group Limited for a detailed design for the upgrading of the Crooked Tree road and causeway. The Minister of Works, Rene Montero, signed on behalf of the Government of Belize and Ray McKenzie, Project Director signed on behalf of the Caribbean Civil Group Limited. The Area Representative for Belize Rural North, Edmund Castro was also present for the signing. According to the Minister of Works, Rene Montero, the design is scheduled to be completed in the next eight months. We hear more in this report from Hipolito Novelo.
HIPOLITO NOVEO REPORTING…
Three hundred and seventy-five thousand, ninety-two US dollars and eighteen cents and eight months- that’s how much and how long it will take for Caribbean Civil Group Limited of the Bahamas to complete a feasibility study and detailed design for the Crooked Tree Road and Causeway.
The Government of Belize through the Minister of Works Rene Montero signed the contract today with the Project Coordinator of Caribbean Civil Group Limited, Ray McKenzie.
RENE MONTERO, MINISTER OF WORKS
The scope of the work includes a climate vulnerability assessment, hydraulic and flood risk modeling, a community vulnerability assessment, a gender sensitivity feasibility study and an environmental and social impact assessment, a preliminary and final detailed design of the Crooked Tree and Causeway.
And if you listened closely, Minister Montero used words like ‘assessments’, ‘study’, and ‘modeling’ and that because no actual physical work will be done on the Crooked Tree Road and Causeway until the report is completed, compiled and presented. That will take eight months. Thereafter, more monies will be secured and another company will be retained to conduct the upgrading works.
Montero says that the new design is expected to include details for the upgrading to an all-weather paved standard. It is expected that climate and enhanced road safety measures and along with proper drainage and pedestrian facilities will be the hallmark of the road design.
RENE MONTERO, MINISTER OF WORKS
This causeway is also very important for the people of Crooked Tree and also for the development of tourism and agriculture in the area. Based on the assessment the Crooked Tree causeway was identified as the third highest priority road to improve resilience for the community of Crooked Tree Village. The Crooked Tree Village Road and causeway have long been a dream of the Government and the Area Representative.
That person is the Minister of Transport and NEMO, Edmond Castro.
EDMOND CASTRO, AREA REP., BELIZE RURAL NORTH
As the Area Representative I know exactly how difficult it is for the residents of Crooked Tree to commute especially in the November, December month when we have the flooding and so I could speak from the fact that it costs the government and people of Belize a lot of money especially with the Coast Guard moving people back and forth and the BDF and we even ended up losing a life with the young Gentle there. So going to school you have difficulty, going to work you have difficulty, you need gas you have difficulty, just about everything that Crooked Tree seems like an island that you have to boat everybody in.
Rudolph and Louise Crawford have experienced the difficulties that Minister Castro spoke of.
RUDOLPH CRAWFORD, CROOKED TREE VILLAGER
Sometimes we have a lot of rain and it causes a lot of trouble to get the children to school and stuff like that and I have to take responsibility sometimes and try to get people to come in and assist us.
LOUISE CRAWFORD, CROOKED TREE VILLAGER
I know what the struggle is for the kids. I notice that when the high water the kids used to go to school and carry their sneakers and socks in their hands, the little short ones their bags would get wet as well as their books. So this road will be a major improvement for transportation and for the people of Crooked Tree.
The study will begin on January 29. The project is being funded by the Government of Belize with technical assistance from the Caribbean Development Bank. Reporting for Love News, I am Hipolito Novelo.
Caribbean Civil group Limited is one out of six companies which submitted bids for the contract.