Lake-I Blvd ‘failure’ to cost tax-payers $5.5 Million MORE

By Benjamin Flowers
Staff Reporter

Little more than a year after being built, Lake Independence Boulevard is in deplorable condition and by the Prime Minister’s own admission, a “failure” but taxpayers will have to shell out more than $5 Million to have it reconstructed properly, according to Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL).

BIL, the state owned construction company that built the road, had a budget of $3.2 million for the original construction of the road; a budget which BIL General Manager, Christy Mastry, says was insufficient from the start.
Mastry explained on Thursday that to properly reconstruct the road, BIL will have to excavate the entire surface, running from the George Price Highway to the Chetumal Street Bridge, and use that material as fill to set the base for the new road.

Mastry said that the new project, which BIL is pushing to start before the end of the year, would need around $5.5 million, which will come from government coffers and loan funding already secured for the project.
“BIL will take the blame for not trying to get the rest of those funds sooner,” Mastry said.

She went on to say that the new road would need to have a 36-inch sub base before it is covered with either hot mix or concrete; adding that the initial road did have adequate work done in terms of width and infrastructure, which will end up saving money during the reconstruction.
“The road does have that right infrastructure, such as side walks and drains. All that stuff can remain in tact; its just the surface of the road that will need to be excavated,” Mastry explained.

Chartered Engineer with the Ministry of Works, Evondale Moody explained this week that before BIL took over the project, the Ministry had placed land fill on the road and did not go any further, because it was waiting for the fill to settle before they built on it.
“However, when BIL took it over, from a professional standpoint, they came in and they excavated the fill that we put in place, which was wrong,” Moody said.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow described the road as a “failure” at a press conference this week, and maintains that BIL will have to give a full account to the public as to what happened. The condition of the Lake-I Boulevard came into focus on Wednesday during a press conference in which Barrow defended the $8 million contract given to Imer Hernandez, disgraced former minister Gaspar Vega’s nephew, for the reconstruction of Faber’s Road.

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