By: Omar Silva, NP Staff Writer
Belize City, Tuesday, 21st March 2023
Belize City's aging infrastructure is in need of attention, particularly when it comes to bridges. According to recent assessments, the Swing Bridge and the BelCan Bridge are both in dire need of replacement. Fortunately, plans are in place to include their replacement as part of a larger rehabilitation project for the George Price Highway.
In a recent interview, Minister of Infrastructure Development and Housing Julius Espat highlighted the importance of these bridges, as well as the ongoing efforts to replace hundreds of wooden bridges with concrete crossings. He noted that the ministry is committed to upgrading infrastructure in the rural areas of Belize, and has already replaced several wooden bridges with concrete ones.
Minister Espat went on to explain that the replacement of the Swing Bridge and the BelCan Bridge will be a part of a larger project that includes flood mitigation and road elevation to improve climate resilience. He stated that the project will cost between fifty to eighty million dollars, and that the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) is interested in providing financing.
The CDB has a history of financing important infrastructure projects in Belize, such as the Coastal Highway and the Remate, and Minister Espat noted that they are like family to Belize. He believes that the project to replace the two bridges is of great importance to the country and that the CDB's involvement will be instrumental in its success.
In conclusion, Belize City's infrastructure is in need of significant attention, particularly when it comes to bridges. The replacement of the Swing Bridge and the BelCan Bridge is of paramount importance, and plans are underway to address these issues as part of a larger rehabilitation project for the George Price Highway. The ongoing efforts to replace wooden bridges with concrete crossings in rural areas are also vital, and the involvement of the CDB in financing these projects is seen as essential to their success.