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Works Minister denies any contract for Haulover Bridge

Posted: Wednesday, December 4, 2019. 4:33 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: At the House of Representatives, this morning, Minister of Works and area representative for Cayo Central, Rene Montero, rose to discuss the situation with the planned replacement of the Haulover Bridge, the primary link between Belize City and the Northern Districts.

The Minister explained that contrary to reports, there has been no contract signed for construction of the bridge, and such a contract would only be signed after approval from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the primary financiers of the project. The Government obtained funds from CDB, the Caribbean Development Fund, and the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) and through the Italian consulting firm of Politecnica, arranged for submission of designs of the structure of the bridge.

After collecting designs from 2016 to 2018, seven contractors submitted bids through the procurement process, of which Politecnica accepted two. However, the winning bid was over the budget limit and the funding providers agreed to further negotiations. The project had erroneously been linked to Orange Walk contractor Imer Hernandez, who has won the contract for the refurbishment of the Coastal Highway between La Democracia, Belize District, and Hope Creek, Stann Creek District, a distance of 36 miles.

As with the other projects, the funding providers – in this case the CDB and British Caribbean Infrastructure Fund – controlled the selection of the winning bidder, a joint venture between Hernandez and Mexican firm Construcciones y Carreteras S.A. de C.V., supervised by the Ministry of Works and Politecnica. We will have more on the Coastal Highway in a subsequent story.

 

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