BELIZE CITY, Wed. Aug. 25, 2021– On Monday, the Government of Belize signed a $30.9 million contract with M&M Engineering Consultants Ltd. for the replacement of the Haulover Bridge. Construction is set to begin immediately under the technical and administrative supervision of Politecnica Ingegneria ed Architettura S.C, a firm consisting of bridge specialist consultants from Italy. The project is scheduled to be completed in two years.
GOB secured the financing for the massive project through a BZD $24 million loan from the OPEC fund back in October of 2017, under the previous Barrow administration.
At that time, two qualified contractors were identified, but one submitted a bid that turned out to be $18 million over the budget. The negotiation ultimately stalled until March of 2021, when the Ministry of Infrastructure Development, under the new PUP administration, commenced the procurement of a construction contractor.
A release from the Government of Belize states that the Ministry of Infrastructure Development had stipulated that those who made bids were to also submit offers, which were made by July 5, 2021. And according to the release, M&M Engineering Consultants Ltd., a Belizean company located at 2 1/2 Miles, Philip Goldson Highway, won the contract. They are now tasked with executing the design of a state-of-the-art single-span bridge, said to be the first in Central America, according to Politecnica.
“The project, supervised by Politecnica, features the construction of a new bridge and related road approaches. The new design provides a single steel-concrete span, 150 meters long and 14 meters wide. It consists of a double-lane carriageway, two sidewalks, street lighting, and safety devices,” a statement on the firm’s website outlined.
The project is being implemented by the Project Execution Unit of the Ministry of Infrastructure Development & Housing and is set for completion sometime in 2023.
The Haulover Bridge was first constructed in 1942 after the use of ferries in the area was done away with. The bridge is the longest in Belize.