On Wednesday, BTIA Orange Walk Chapter issued an open letter to the Prime Minister in which they stated their utmost displeasure with the deplorable conditions of the roads in Orange Walk. This includes primarily the Phillip Goldson Highway, which consists of Belize-Corozal Road, Queen Victoria Avenue, and Otro Benque Road. On Wednesday we spoke to the Mayor of Orange Walk Town, Kevin Bernard, who reiterated their position on the matter.
“Well, as you know, the council has been saying this for a very long time, asking the government of Belize to address their responsibility which is the main highway that runs through our town and the San Antonio road that also runs out through the villages. While I can attest to the fact that there are streets in Orange Walk town that also need some attention, the council is working and getting those addressed, but I share the same sentiments of the people in the BTIA Chapter; this is not a political issue, but an issue where every single resident and visitors alike that passes through that town through the main highway have complaints. I came here today and was approached by a gentleman from Belmopan saying, ‘men, Mr. Mayor, you have the worst streets in the municipalities; the worst highway”, and I told him, this is exactly what we have been fighting to try and ensure that the Government of Belize through the Ministry of Works, addresses this problem”.
And it has been addressed, well, at least on paper. But According to the Mayor, that is not enough.
“I understand that contracts have been signed. The Prime Minister, I think that at the two House meetings, stated that he has disbursed the money to the Ministry of Works, just that they were going through the bidding and so forth. So, now that the contracts have been signed, people want to know when you will fix our streets. We are upon a rainy season. We have also been informed by BWS that they will take six months to fix and to repair lines between the entrance of the once Come and Go Gas Station to about the Libertad village junction. Those are delays that we are talking about here. This is why the people have said here, if we have seen so much millions of money invested in other municipalities, why the during the dry season, that the government of Belize did not see it fit to address the needy streets in Orange Walk Town? We need to get the politics out of it and start to really being development”.
At Wednesday’s press conference, the Prime Minster said that work along the Philip Goldson Highway which runs through the Sugar City to begin, the stretch from the entrance of town up to Trial Farm will be asphalted beginning on Monday. The work will be done in sections at a total cost of $8 million. Further north in Corozal, the section of the highway from the Social Security Building to Santa Rita Hill will be concreted, while Government has paid for five streets already concreted by Mayor Hilberto Campos and asked for costs for 2 more.