The first phase, funded with a $20 million municipal bond floated by the Council, saw 102 streets concreted, some of which are in their final stages of completion.
The second will be funded by a $10 million grant from Central Government, in addition to $2.8 million allocated for immediate works in the aftermath of last year’s wet weather and a drainage project outlined by the Council.
Among the major streets to be tackled in the second phase are six which begin in the coming week. According to Mayor Darrell Bradley, the streets were selected for their importance as bridges of connectivity to move traffic and goods around the Old Capital. Bradley said that the Council is working closely with the utility companies in stages so that all 35 streets will be ready for immediate works in a project which is expected to run until September of this year.
Each street, according to a list circulated by the Council, will cost sixty-five dollars per square yard of concrete, the going rate for such according to the Mayor. The most expensive street will be Princess Margaret Drive for $1.23 million, while the cheapest is Slaughterhouse Road for just under $100,000.
Additionally, a total of $2 million of the Council’s own funds will be made available for immediate works on a number of neighborhood streets, primarily in the Southside which will be upgraded to pre-paved status. All told, the Council expects to have concreted 1 in every 3 streets in the Old Capital, a total of 140, by the end of this year.
These streets will have installed drainage and additional works in response to the call of the public for these to be included following their conspicuous lack in the first phase.
To head off accusations of Belize City-centrism, contracts have been signed for concrete works in Belmopan on Queen Elizabeth Boulevard and Cohune Walk, to a total of $1.8 million, with works to get underway in Benque Viejo, Corozal, Dangriga, Punta Gorda and Orange Walk.