Sunday, April 14, 2024

Area Rep says funds secured to build new bridge at Boca del Rio

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Area Representative, the Honourable Andre Perez, has confirmed that funds have been secured to build a new bridge next to the Sir Barry Bowen’s at Boca del Rio. The new bridge will accommodate the traffic flow demand heading into and from the northern part of Ambergris Caye, targeting large, heavy vehicles.
The current bridge was built to accommodate golf carts and pedestrians, but as the island continues to grow, the vehicular traffic, including vehicles, cargo, and dump trucks, all utilize the bridge. This has resulted in wear and tear on the bridge, and officials are concerned it could collapse. While plans for a new bridge are underway, the current passageway is undergoing expensive repairs, amounting to over half a million dollars.
Perez stated that while the funds have been secured, they need to be paid back. He did not say if such money came from a loan or another source. “It is coming; we have secured the funding,” said Perez. “We have to come up with the plan how to pay it back.” One of the ways is through the upcoming toll fees that go into effect on Sunday, August 15th. Perez explained that this time, the fees will be used not only to pay for the new bridge but also to provide adequate maintenance. He pointed out that the previous town administration collected hundreds of thousands of dollars from the toll, and nothing was reportedly done to maintain the current bridge or build a new one.
In July, monthly prices to use the bridge were announced: utility/dump trucks-$500, taxis/hotel transport vans-$350, private motor vehicles-$150, and golf cart rentals-$250. This price was per golf cart/vehicle.

The community claimed that the proposed prices were too high, given the island is still trying to recover from the economic effects of the pandemic. Because of these concerns, the San Pedro Town Council revised the fees and provided an update on August 4th. The new adjusted monthly prices provided were: taxi/hotel transport vans/small cargo trucks is $150, while golf cart rentals will be charged $250 covering a total of 15 carts and $50 for an additional ten carts. In regards to the private motor vehicles/goods trucks, the monthly fee will be $75. These rates are reportedly going to be revised again. As of press time, no update had been provided.
The fee for utility/dump trucks remains the same and does not apply to private golf cart owners and motorbikes.

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