Monday, July 22, 2024

Caracol Road Upgrading Project – Lot 1C

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The Government of Belize secured a Loan from the OPEC Fund for International Development (OPEC Fund) for the Caracol Road Upgrading Project.
This project, located in Western Belize, was appraised by the OPEC Fund for International Development and presented to its board of directors who approved a loan to the Government of Belize. The Caracol Road Upgrading Project comprises two Phases with approximately equal lengths of 42km. Phase 1 commenced in December 2019 with the signing of Lots 1A and 1B.
The recently amalgamated Ministry of Infrastructure Development and Housing conducted a review of the inherited Caracol Road Upgrading Project as one of least priority and learned that the Government of Belize had an active loan with clearly defined expiration dates. The ministry was advised by its colleague Ministry of Finance and Economic Development that it should continue with the active loan and based on existing commitment with its funding partner execute the remaining works under Phase 1, funded by the OPEC Fund. However, consultations with the Kuwait Fund, Belize’s financial partner for Phase 2 culminated in an agreement to defer Phase 2 for a year as Belize was experiencing an economic downturn, actively responding to the pandemic and had not yet drawn upon the loan.
Therefore, a comprehensive design review of those portions of the Caracol Road Project that were not under construction, Lot 1C and three Lots under Phase 2, was done and resulted in substantial cost savings. Combined with a renegotiated supervision consultancy, a total savings of approximately BZ$28 million was achieved, a portion of which is reflected in Lot 1C.
The Caracol Road Upgrading Project – Section 1C is approximately 7km (4.3miles). On the ground this is from Blancaneaux Lodge Line intersection to the Pinol Line intersection.
The project includes the construction of earthen embankments as foundation for improved horizontal and vertical alignment, crushed gravel pavements, and two (3.35m) lanes with (0.5m) shoulders and a double bituminous chip-seal wearing course. The road drainage scheme will also be upgraded through the replacement of undersized culverts with concrete pipes. Three bridges will be constructed at Privassion Creek, Oak Burn Creek, and Pinol Creek. All bridges are designed to American Association of State Highway and Transportation (AASHTO) standards and are of reinforced concrete build with pre-cast girder elements. Additional improvements include the addition of modern safety features including high visibility signs, road edge markers, painted lane markings, and safety rails as needed.
With the no objection from the funding agency, the Government of Belize signed a contract for the Caracol Road Upgrading Project with Belize Roadway Construction – Section 1C, in the amount of BZ$12,000,152.27. It is anticipated that works will commence immediately. The project will be implemented by the Ministry of Infrastructure Development & Housing – Project Execution Unit while NARCO Consultants of Kuwait will provide technical and administrative supervision.

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