After securing a load from the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), the Government of Belize has embarked in a loan agreement for the Caracol Road Upgrading Project. After the loan motion was tabled at the Senate in March, it has finally been approved. In this project, monies will be spent toward improving 26.4 miles of the Caracol Road. The signing of the agreement took place on Thursday, April. 26 in Belmopan where Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow signed on behalf of the Government of Belize and Director-General Dr. Suleiman Al-Herbish signed on behalf of OFID.
Those 26.4 miles of road are currently gravel and will be upgraded to an all-weather, paved road and is only the first phase of the project. This first phase will also see the construction of five double-lane concrete bridges. Also as a part of this project, the Georgeville and Santa Elena access roads to the Caracol archaeological site will be upgraded as well as an additional 9 km from the tripartite intersection.
According to Prime Minister Dean Barrow, the upgrading of this road “is going to be a monumental achievement, a tremendous leap forward for this country in terms of what it’s going to mean with respect to tourism and also to agriculture.”
Dr.Suleiman Jasir Al-Herbish, Director General, OFIC, says that the loan agreement “builds up the well established framework of cooperating between OFID and Belize which has reached $131.4 million dollars, to recognizing the importance and critical situation of transport infrastructure in Belize OFID has directed nearly two thirds of the volume of its assistance towards enhancing the transport sector of the country.”
Procurement of supervision consultants and construction contractors will now commence.