There is a constant cry by residents as well as some tourists of the rather large toll being levied at the Boca del Rio Bridge. The bridge was officially inaugurated on Saturday, February 25th, 2006, and it was met with mixed feelings. While some residents longed for the days when San Pedro was a sleepy fishing village, and resisted the inevitable wave of progress, others saw the bridge as leading the path to prosperity, paved roads and four-storey buildings.The bridge, 120 feet long and 23 feet wide, was capable of allowing emergency vehicles’ passage (when necessary), but was exclusively for the use of golf carts, bicycles and pedestrians. The reported cost of BZ$750,000, was secured through financing provided by Sir Barry Bowen (deceased). The loan was to be repaid through funds raised from toll collections.
In 2009, the bridge was closed for a period of one month while maintenance work was carried out. Now exactly five years after its inauguration, The San Pedro Sun received information that the bridge had been paid off. Our investigations into the matter revealed that while the bridge is not yet completely paid off, there is a remainder of two interest payments, scheduled for February and March of 2011. With the loan being paid, it is expected that the toll would be drastically reduced, if not eliminated. However, our investigations revealed that that will not be the case, as presently there are repairs and maintenance works needed on the bridge to the tune of some $300,000.00.
The San Pedro Sun contacted Mayor Elsa Paz for a comment and was informed that a full report is being prepared and will be presented to the community in the form of a Public Meeting. The exact date of this meeting was not determined at the time of press. We will continue to follow this story and update you as information becomes available.