On Tuesday we told you about the bridge in Maya Mopan, Belmopan, that is in need of some urgent repairs. The bridge, which has been standing for some 15 years, has been deteriorating over time making it hazardous for vehicles to cross. This prompted the City Council, responsible for the bridge’s maintenance, to close the precarious bridge over a month ago, with intentions of having it fixed by now. But with no apparent work gone into the bridge, residents of Maya Mopan are crying out neglect.
[Translated] “One morning, an old man of sixty or seventy years was crossing the bridge. He was half-way across the bridge when a car coming behind him was blowing his horn so that the old man hurries up. It was raining and the bridge was slippery. As the old man was hurrying across he slipped and knocked his head. The residents here had to carry him to the hospital inside a vehicle.
Emanuel Pech – Reporter
So, what are you asking those who are in charge of this bridge?”
[Translated] “I think they should try to hurry up, since they said it would have been completed by today or tomorrow. I’m looking at it. they haven’t even started. I think it’s time they get to work, because the people here need it.”
On Wednesday, during a quite extraordinary discussion with the Belmopan Mayor, Mayor Simeon Lopez addressed the concerns surrounding the bridge
“Obviously, that Maya Mopan bridge will not be completed by tomorrow.
The engineers at the Council closed off the bridge because it was in a terrible state of disrepair. the reason for closing it off is that heavy trucks and so used to use it and we didn’t want the bridge to collapse on somebody that get hurt.
I have been advised, by the person who is contracted to do a repair to the bridge and make it passable again, [that] they have cut the planks. They are huge planks, and they’re in an area in the Cayo District. It’s difficult now to get them out, because of the weather. So, as soon as it gets a little bit dry, we will get it out.
They want to do it quickly, because it’s the same person who has the contract to concrete the Cemetery Road.”
The Contractor for building the bridge is the Albino Catalan, owner of Belize Concrete. Belize Concrete also holds the contract to concrete Victoria Peak St. and Maya Mountain Av, in East Picini Belmopan, these works are near completion. The same company also holds a contract to concrete the Cemetery Road, in the area of San Martin. According to Mike Padilla, the project manager of Belize Concrete, the company is not getting paid to make repairs on the bridge. Mayor Lopez explained the logic behind that.
Mayor Simeon Lopez
“He is going to do that, because he needs to close off the bridge at Cemetery Road, to complete Cemetery Road. If he closes that off and Maya Mopan bridge is also closed off, then there is no access into that area. so that is the logic behind that.”
The bridge is expected to be repaired before works start at Cemetery Road.