The Government of Belize has secured financing through a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and grant funding from the United Kingdom Caribbean Infrastructure Partnership Fund (UKCIF) for the Coastal Highway Upgrading Project.

This project was appraised by the CDB and presented to its board of directors who approved a loan to the Government of Belize. The United Kingdom Government also approved a grant for the country of Belize for which a portion will be applied towards this highway upgrading project.

The Coastal Highway Project is approximately 58.04km (36.2miles). The proposed upgrade includes the construction and paving of the entire 58km of road and the rehabilitation and reconstruction of 10 bridges across various creeks and rivers along the highway. The construction works will generally follow the existing road alignment and will only deviate in areas where improvement to the horizontal alignment is required for safety. The road, which commences at the Coastal Highway/George Price Highway intersection, will have an improved T-junction intersection to better channelize traffic movement from the newly upgraded road. The end of the Coastal Highway, where it intersects the Hummingbird Highway, will also see major improvement with a new roundabout intersection.

The project includes the construction of earthen embankments, earthen trapezoidal drains, crushed gravel pavements, and two (3.60m) lanes with (1.5m) shoulders conforming to a 60-100kph design speed. The bridge structures have various spans ranging from 12.0m to 32.0m with a trafficable width of 12.0 meters. All bridges are designed to AASHTO Standards and will be constructed of a combination of composite steel beams, reinforced concrete and prestressed concrete. Road furniture such as line markings, traffic signs, lighting and road studs are also included.

With no objection from the Caribbean Development Bank, the Government of Belize through the Ministry of Works executed the award and signing of two (2) construction contracts to the lowest evaluated bidder. The contracts were awarded to the joint venture firm of Imer Hernandez Development Co. Ltd./Construcciones y Carreteras S.A. de C.V., in the amount of BZ$62,971,611.45 for Lot 1 and BZ$70,220,413.69 for Lot 2 to carry out the project. It is anticipated that works will commence immediately and the expected duration for completion is 36 months.

The project will be managed by the Ministry of Works — Project Execution Unit and the Italian based consultancy firm Politecninca Ingengeria Ed Architettura Societa Cooperativa will provide Engineering and Administrative supervision of the civil works.