UPADI (Uniona Panamericana de Asosiaciones de Ingenieros), of which Belize is a member of, recognizes the 20th day of July as engineers day. A full day dedicated to those who put roofs over our heads with construction, light our homes with electrical wiring, and fit our pipes for running water. In commemoration of this day, which was celebrated last two weeks, we sat down with the president of the Association of Professional Engineers of Belize, the country’s foremost association of engineers, Wilfredo Guerrero. He spoke to us about the roundabouts being built in Belize and said that in his opinion, some of them are unnecessary.
“I think that there is a love for roundabouts. I think that a roundabout needs to be explained. The purpose of a roundabout is to reduce the conflicts when you reach that intersection. Now, I know that from what I read and experienced, a roundabout is something that you shouldn’t use unless you have to. I go from here to Salvador and I pass through Petén – I go by road, and I don’t see a roundabout until I reach Santa Ana in Salvador. At the Tikal junction, I see a triangle and at all the junctions in Guatemala, I see a triangle. I don’t see a roundabout on the road itself. I think that the problem with roundabouts is that it is not something that an engineer or somebody who studies the economics of it formulates. I think that it comes from the top. They want a roundabout whether it is needed or not. That is what I think we need to address.”
The roundabout project the one being constructed at the Guanacaste Park Junction which is being done by RJB construction limited. President of the Association of Professional Engineers Wilfredo Guerrero suggested some alternatives to what he describes as expensive roundabouts.
“Well, I would have do a channelized intersection where if you are going right, you come to the right and turn that way. If you are going to the left, obviously you have to wait until something passes on the George Price Highway and when that happens you just turn left. If you are going straight, you have the right of way. If you are coming from San Ignacio and you are going into Belmopan, you have no problem because you just turn right. It is something that could be simplified with a simple channelized junction. You don’t need a roundabout. A roundabout is when you have four of more entrances. There you only have three.”