On Monday, December 2, 2019, the UK government was pleased to witness the signing of the construction contract for the Coastal Highway Upgrading Project in Belize which forms part of the £330 million UK Caribbean Infrastructure Fund (UKCIF) portfolio. This project will upgrade approximately 59 km (approximately 37 miles) of the road network, associated bridge and drainage works linking the George Price Highway to the Hummingbird Highway.
The UK Government is providing £25.1 million in grant funding to the Government of Belize for this project which will transform the current dirt road to an all-weather sealed road. This will significantly reduce the risk of flooding, shorten the distance and improve connectivity from the south to Belize City.
“Upgrading of the Coastal Highway will positively impact the lives of people in Belize especially residents in La Democracia, Gales Point, Mullins River and Hope Creek. This transformational project will also increase access to essential health, educational and social services and will deliver tangible economic benefits to the country,” - The Acting British High Commissioner, Claire Bruce, said in her remarks at the signing.
The Coastal Highway Upgrading Project is one of two approved major grants for Belzie which has an allocation of £42.4 million under the UKCIF. The remaining funds (around £14 million) have been allocated to help the Philip Goldson Highway Project.
The construction contract for this project has been awarded to Imer Hernandez Development Co. Ltd/Construcciones y Carreteras S.A. de C.V. (JV) for the execution of the road works commencing in early 2020. The project is being managed by the Ministry of Works and is expected to be completed in early 2023.
The Caribbean Development Bank, which administers the UKCIF and the Government of Belize are co-financiers of the project.