SPTC announces first phase of beach reclamation project at Boca del Rio
Wednesday, February 19th, 2020
A project that will see a much needed rehabilitation of the Boca del Rio beach strip is set to commence on March 15, 2020. The area is popular with beach bars and restaurants, but lack a proper beach and the constant vehicular traffic has made the area less family- friendly, and has contributed to its ongoing erosion. To address the matter, the initial phase of the project aims at implementing new traffic regulations between Sand Piper and Spider Lily Streets, next to the San Pedro High School (SPHS).
The rehabilitation project is being spearheaded by The San Pedro Town Council, aiming to address traffic congestion, while reclaiming the beach. According to Mayor Daniel Guerrero, this is an effort to boost the area and make it safe for families and their children, and make the area more attractive as well. Guerrero said that the reclamation project will see a more stabilized traffic flow and broader beach. The sand to rehabilitate the beach is expected to be trucked from southern Ambergris Caye.
Phase one of the project includes new traffic regulations between San Piper Street on the beachside, from in front of Sandbar Beachfront Hostel and Restaurant, to the detour towards SPHS. A portion of this route will be reserved for ‘One-Way’ golf cart traffic only, while parallel parking for carts will be allowed on the east side of this section of the beach. The SPTC is asking residents and business owners in the area to kindly clear the area in front of their properties, including the moving of their garbage containers to their properties.
To start encouraging the new traffic regulations, a row of stumps have been planted in the middle of the beach area. The public is encouraged to begin practicing the new regulations by driving one way heading north on the left side of this barrier and to park parallel on the other side facing the sea. Mayor Guerrero indicated that the project is expected to alleviate the congestion in the area. However, when the entire Boca del Rio strip (from Sandbar Beachfront Hostel and Restaurant to Boca del Rio Park) is completely refurbished, golf carts will no longer be allowed. “It will be for pedestrians only,” he said.
The project has received the support of many residents, particularly those living in the area. They expect a safe environment for children and adults, and that the island will once again have a proper beachfront. They are optimistic that it will not affect businesses and that eventually, people will see the benefit of leaving their vehicles at home and instead walk or bike to the beach or take a cab.
The rehabilitation project started in April 2019, with the opening of the new Boca del Rio beach park. Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Honourable Manuel Heredia Jr., said that the entire Boca del Rio strip was going to be reclaimed and once complete, vehicles would not be allowed to traverse the beach. The project is expected to be completed in phases and during 2020.
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