Coastal Road Paving Progress

It would be great if someone currently living down in Belize can use this thread to periodically update us on road paving projects.  When down last November - the Hopkins Rd paving was well underway - albeit very slowly.  We just had our land surveyed on the Coastal Rd and the surveyor had to allow 40' on each side of the Coastal Rd for future paving/improvements.
I have tried to find project plans on official sites, but to no avail. 
Thanks!
JR

happy to say the Hopkins road is tarred and chipped for about 3/4 of its length... work on the bridges is well under way and some extensions are usable. the "all weather"   commitment appears to be abandoned, in favour of two causeways
which I think will be impassable at peak water levels..
      a contractor friend, who does work for the roads dept, has not heard of any budget allocation for the coastal rd.
      .

Thanks for the update.  Apparently, there was budget but perhaps it was spent elsewhere.  I heard a rumor that the world bank was helping to finance the coastal road paving.  Not sure how accurate that rumor is.  Regardless, it will be nice once it is done, but would not hold my breath.  Despite the non-paving status it is such a beautiful journey along that road!!!!!  Can't wait to be traveling it to our temporary home in Gales Point, while we build.

Don't hold your breath!

After our trip back down to our property this past March - The new bridge over the river south of the Gales Point turnoff on the Coastal is finished and one of the nicest bridges in all of Belize - rivals some Interstate bridges in the US.  We also noted that there are new power line poles up and down the Coastal Rd and they are all set back off the road a good 30-40' - with the area clear cut and mowed. 
When surveying our land - we had to allow for a 40' set-back for the new road. 
These are all good signs of pending road improvements - fingers definitely crossed - however we are anxious about increased traffic when (and if) the Coastal ever gets paved.  If anyone hears more news - please pass it along ; )

if they ever pave the Coastal rd  I should imagine the traffic levels will rise considerably, particularly all those heavy trucks going south. It cuts several miles off the journey from BC to All points south.

Several local officials in Stann Creek told me the Southern Highway was payed for three times. First two times allocated funds lined pockets, third time most of the funds actually went into pavement.   :(
Apparently SOP in Belize...

I was down again in November of 2017 and the only progress I saw then was that there was a survey team working down on the Southern end.  I understand that there is a time limit with the UK grant money and if Belize doesn't spend it as it is allocated - they will lose it.  I don't think I will be back down until sometime early 2018 and wanted to see if anyone knows of any further progress on this paving project?

I believe road construction is scheduled to start in Jan.

i have been living in Belize 26 years , funding to pave the coastal hwy was given to the Belize government at least 10 times by various country's , it never seems to get done, they did put in a new cement bridge at the south end which is nice  and did some upgrades at different places ditching and grading...i was on it a month ago ...its unlikely it will get done now this country is serious financial trouble and going down the tube fast  crime is rampant all over the country, only  40% of the population is employed  , the income from bananas, shrimp farms , beef , oranges is way down .the cost of living is 5 or 6 times higher than it should be what , it is to the point now you cant save any money .

The grant to pave the highway was given by the British Embassy. The conditions that came with the grant was that a international company had to be given the contract and the government was not in control of the funds so as to ensure the money did not disappear and full accountability is achievable.

KiwiCook :

The grant to pave the highway was given by the British Embassy.

Do you know the year the grant was given, or how to obtain details of the grant.

I ran out of ideas for google search terms.  :/

All I know is the grant expires in 2020 and if work is not done then grant will be withdrawn. You will need to contact British Embassy for more information on grant.

I guess the British have an interest in this as they have the large training grounds about 1/2 way down the Coastal Rd.  When that road is, or ever, paved - the country will benefit  greatly from increased sales and taxes on land down there.

jvr1330 :

When that road is, or ever, paved - the country will benefit  greatly from increased sales and taxes on land down there.

Tax stamp revenue perhaps.
But come on....you are clearly not speaking from experience about the yearly property tax. In Belize property tax is so cheap I wonder if it is worth the effort to collect it.  For example, my home in Placencia Village would likely sell for $200,000+ US. Property Tax is $20/year BZD

YES. I know, I live here. The 36-mile-long Coastal Road paving process is underway. The project is financed by the U.K., through the Caribbean Investment Fund. The funds are being managed by the U.K, and the project is controlled by the British engineers, to avoid funny business with $$. . . The Mullins River bridge is already complete, and is built to US highway standards, although it was funded by a different source. It is a beautiful bridge! Come and see it, and enjoy this spectacular area.

An Italian engineering firm has been at work doing preparatory work along the route, checking ground strata around bridges to be rebuilt, etc.. Parts of the road may be rerouted to avoid sharp curves, but property purchases for this purpose are still "to be determined".

I know these engineers are there - I see their equipment & crews working, and I have talked with their supervisors.

Paving construction is scheduled to begin soon - January 2019. It is "scheduled" to be complete in 2021, but I don't see how this schedule can be met. The engineers tell me it will. This is a vast estuary system and they are now coming to terms with the incredible flow of water from the Maya Mountain foothills into the ocean, through and around the Southern Lagoon and the mangrove areas to its south. There will be at least 7 creeks/rivers to cross with bridges. The road will need to be elevated with a way for water to pass underneath. . .  Culverts? More bridges?

Living in this beautiful and until-now remote area, we are used to flooding in the rainy season - especially November and June. The Gales Point school was closed for a few days last week because school busses (with teachers aboard) could not get here. The road floods for only a day or two, then the water is gone. So we have learned to deal with it, and to adjust our travel schedules accordingly. In its current unpaved state, this "all-weather gravel road" is solid but rough. The road gets graded about twice yearly - and is very smooth for a while - until it rains again. I use a 4wd vehicle, with 10-ply tires to minimize flat tires.

Development will come. Already pirate loggers are active here. The Gales Point Wildlife Sanctuary is an IUCN Category IV Wildlife Sanctuary. It is run by a local non-profit NGO. So far the GPWS Management Committee has authority to approve or diss-approve development plans, but there is no enforcement budget.

About 3+ miles of Caribbean beach and shoreline along the Manatee Bar River is called by scientists as the "most important Hawksbill Turtle nesting ground in the Western Caribbean". The Southern, Western, and Northern Lagoons and its jungle-river tributaries are home to the largest concentration of West Indian Manatee in the Caribbean basin or Central America.

We all hope that opportunity will benefit the people here, while rampant development can be mitigated by intelligent and sustainable means.

yes, see below.

As you wish.
See update below.

That is great to here. It would really cut travel time to my property on the HH. As it is, it's not worth it for me to drive the Coastal - shorter but takes longer, plus not good for your teeth, or bones.  :)

So....  It is late April of 2019 - can someone update me on Coastal Road paving progress?  Was hoping to get down there last year, but alas - too busy, but hope to pop down again to check on land sometime this summer.  If paving has "actually" begun - which end are they starting?
Thanks again

Hi JVR,

Actual "paving" has not yet begun on Belize's Coastal Road.  Prep work has begun, however. I have seen and talked to work crews who spent months taking sonar readings of the road base all along this highway, especially around areas where bridges will be replaced. Incidentally, the supervisor of this Italian contractor told me that all the bridges on the CR will be replaced, except the Mullins River Bridge which was already replaced recently. Survey crews have been up and down this road setting stakes and figuring the realignment of sharp curves.

I live on the Coastal Road and I travel it frequently. I love this area where the dramatic Maya Mountain foothills come closest to the sea. It holds much promise to the country as an enterprise zone, because:
a) it is a 36 mile-long, level shortcut, to southern Belize;
b) its Caribbean beaches are some of the finest mainland beaches in the country;
c) it is surrounded by pristine and wild national lands and wildlife sanctuaries;

Don't look for any paving to commence before the 'Territorial Dispute' with Guatemala comes to vote again on May 8. That vote was scheduled to be held April 10, but was delayed by a legal challenge.

The U.K. has invested £40mm to "re-align and pave" the Coastal Road. Construction bids are in. Surveys are complete. BUT - the U.K. will not want to pave any roads in Guatemala, so I personally doubt this paving project - which was scheduled to begin this May or June - will begin until Belizeans vote to settle this dispute.

I just hope and pray that they don't just pave 2 miles at each end and declare it finished.

The United Kingdom granted the ££ through an entity called the Caribbean Investment Fund.

Was down in October - 2019 - no progress on coastal road paving, although I did see some survey stakes about - the main power poles have been set back 40' from the side of the road (back in 2018).
It is now late January - does anyone know if they have actually started the paving on this God-Awful road?
BTW - experienced my 1st real Coastal Rd. flooding after a torrential tropical storm dumped several inches of rain over a single evening.  WOW!!!  Glad I rented a 4WD truck : )

the coastal road contract was signed early october2019. projected start March 2020.if it follows the usual pattern stage one will be ditches and drainage generally, possibly bridges.  which suggests the road start will be later this year.

Thanks - so much for the "Start January 2020" initiative ; )

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