By Marion Ali
Procurement for the design and construction of a new bridge to span the Haulover Creek at mile five on the Philip Goldson Highway is expected to take place shortly as part of a multi-million-dollar project.
The government had secured a loan of US $29 million from the Caribbean Development Bank for the project, which will include road works on the Philip Goldson Highway, including Buttonwood Bay Boulevard to the Airport Road intersection. It also entails a 4-lane highway to Belize City from the Haulover Bridge.
The government is currently in the process of inviting engineering firms to submit technical and financial proposals for the design of the bridge. Based on the terms of reference to be developed by the ministry, the most qualified design firm will e selected.
The Ministry of Works still has no draft design concept of the new structure, but preliminary investigations by the ministry engineers indicate that the best location for the new bridge is downstream, which is closer to the sea where the creek empties.
According to Engineer with the Ministry of Works, Edgar Puga, the recommendation is that the new bridge be designed to the latest edition of modern bridge-design specifications to accommodate two-lane traffic and pedestrians. The new bridge will take about two years to complete from the time of its commencement.
Meanwhile, the ministry will also soon begin urgent repairs and bridge maintenance on the existing Haulover Bridge so that it can be serviceable during the design and construction of the new structure and used elsewhere in the country. That bridge was designed and constructed by Crown Agents between 1945 and 1947.