By Aaron Humes: The venerable long-standing main link between Belize City and the North via the Philip Goldson Highway, the Haulover Bridge, will be replaced over the next two years at a cost of just under $31 million.
The Government signed a contract with M&M Engineering Consultants Limited to replace the current single-lane structure with a new multiple-span reinforced concrete structure designed to AASHTO Standards, immediately downstream.
The project, costing BZ$30,990,991.49, will be implemented by the Ministry of Infrastructure Development & Housing – Project Execution Unit, while Politecnica Ingegneria ed Achitettura S.C bridge specialist consultants of Italy will provide technical and administrative supervision.
The project started under the Barrow administration with $24 million in funds secured from the OPEC Fund for International Development, toward a budgeted BZ$30 million for the replacement as part of the greater redevelopment of the highway between the Flag Monument Roundabout and the entrance to the Airport Road. A further section of the highway has since been repaved up to the Burrell Boom-Hattieville Road junction, and the rest has been sectioned off for repair by other companies over the next few years.
The initial single span steel arch design was rejected and the single bid for $59.4 million was rejected as it was over budget.
The new Ministry elected to procure a contractor in March and maintained the bidding process until July, after which the ministry and specialist consultants, selected to assist with the evaluation of bids, performed reviews, and gave their recommendation for the contract award.
The new structure will be climate-resilient and built slightly higher than the current bridge, with modern safety features including high-visibility signs, lighting, painted lane markings, and safety rails as needed.