Posted: Friday, October 27, 2017. 3:04 p.m. CST.
By BBN Staff: Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL) issued a statement today detailing the Lake Independence Blvd design and construction in order to clarify the involvement of BIL in the execution of the project.
BIL says that the release is intended to correct several allegations that stand inaccurate today.
According to the statement, BIL was brought into the design as the urban planning agency to achieve three main goals.
1. To prepare a master plan for +50 acre development inclusive of the road link between two heavily trafficked highways. The challenge posed was to ensure that the size and design of the road would sustain future development and growth for that area including critical future traffic volumes, pedestrian circulation, public transportation, freight movement and private autos as part of a major need for the added accessibility and alleviation of the traffic to the city. This goal was no doubt achieved.
2. To design a road that would create immediate accessibility for traffic on a budget that would include sidewalks, easements and lighting. The challenge was certainly to execute a road of this scale on a budget at that time reserved for standard road construction as future phases of development for that area would require more aggressive engineering solutions. To date the road does serve the purpose of traffic alleviation without the dust and mud once challenging that access during rainy season.
3. To engineer and execute the works under the existing condition whereas removing the less stable clay filled road was challenged by budgetary constraints. The team, however, engineered required detailed designs of all features of the project using standard construction practices used by the Ministry of Works in the past on both Northern and Western Highways. Standard construction practices now prove to have a shorter lifespan for clay filled areas and are certainly now requiring the removal and replacement of all clay fill material to a certain depth. We now expect that some form of stone-based fill will have to be placed similar to ongoing construction on the Philip Goldson Highway.
The release further states that from the onset, BIL’s design focus remained on the master planning elements of the project.
“This included the need for fully enclosed box drains and cross culverts, 8 foot wide pedestrian sidewalks, 6 foot wide bicycle paths, delineated bus lane stops, and two fully flowing traffic lanes – then doubled – as this profile would be on both sides of the center fully lighted median.”
In the release, the General Manager of BIL defended her reputation as an open and transparent professional and reiterated that there has always been representation by the Ministry of Works on the Board.
“ At no time was there any competing or conflicting engineering designs to the Lake Independence Blvd that the Board knew about or has knowledge of still today.”
According to BIL, the budget for the Lake Independence Blvd was $ 3.25 million BZD.
The road is on average over 100 feet wide in total – triple the width of an average city road and double the width of Chetumal Street on the opposite side of the bridge.
Its length is just shy of one mile, including underground utility conduits and the fully lighted easements.
The design was prepared, evaluated, contracted and signed off by BIL and the Ministry of Works members on the Board as the designs used were standard acceptable engineering practices.
The procurement was done through an invitation to bid by way of international QCBS (Quality Cost Based Evaluation Selection).
The team felt strongly that the design was sufficient for this first phase scope of works to open access and opportunities within the master planned area.
“The project that the public sees today ensures that the $3.25 million BZD spent was used to its full potential. The road bed material, less than one fifth of the budget, can/will be salvaged for fill and compaction under future design phases,” the release explains.
BIL says that it will consult with the Ministry of Works on any failsafe engineering designs needed to execute a long term finished road with the budget to accommodate.
BIL ends the release by saying that, “they remain committed to delivering absolute maximum output for minimum overexpenditure cognizant of the importance of quality.”
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