Haulover Bridge Opening Imminent
Drivers will get to experience the new Haulover Bridge, starting Thursday, February 1. While the construction of the bridge is not still not complete, the temporary opening will give the contractors the opportunity to conduct alignment works on the bridge, as well as the upgrades to the underground public utility infrastructure (water, electricity, and communications). Engineer Coordinator, Evondale Moody, of the Ministry of Infrastructure Development & Housing advises that pedestrians will NOT be allowed to access the new bridge as the safety hand railing is not fully installed.
Evondale Moody, Chief Engineer, Ministry of Infrastructure Development and Housing: “At this point in time we’re very close to the completion of the Haulover Bridge so you could say we’re substantially completed and so based on that fact we have decided that because we need to finalize the tie in of the new Haulover Bridge alignment on the southern side going into Belize City we have to close the old bridge because of the elevation of the new alignment and it’s interaction with the old alignment. So to do that tie in we have to close the old bridge and so we’re working on finalizing the paving on top of the new bridge today. We started those works yesterday and so we’re expecting that by the end of today we will complete the paving which is basically adding an additional pavement on top of the new structure. So in an effort to do that we have decided that on the first of February which is on Thursday we will divert traffic from the old Haulover Bridge onto the new structure for vehicular traffic only. We are restricting the movement of pedestrians on the new structure because the new structure has two pedestrian footpaths however those rails have not been fully installed as yet. And so we don’t want to take any risk for pedestrians moving on top of that structure because we don’t have the proper safety rails in place. We’ve had some delays in terms of shipping of materials for the rails and so we understand that those rails just arrived in the country last week and the contractor will try and get those fabricated within the next four weeks and then we will have that bridge 100% completed.”
Motorists are advised that there will be no overtaking on the bridge or its approaches. Drivers are asked to reduce speed, and follow traffic signs and directions of any flag persons while work continues on the project site. The new roundabout on the north approach to the Haulover Bridge will also be opened to traffic, even though minor concrete works are still pending. The project has been underway for the past 2 years and 4 months and is expected to be completed in March.