Residents of Punta Gorda and surrounding communities are now enjoying a safer and more pleasant street and drainage environment courtesy of the Government of Belize, which financed the project at a cost of $1,702,214.32 with funds through a loan from the World Bank, and counterpart contribution from Punta Gorda Town Board amounting to $51,066.43
In this regard, the road and drainage infrastructure was officially inaugurated at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 15, 2017. Speakers at the event included Hon. Erwin Contreras, Minister of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade and Commerce; Mayor Fern Gutierrez, and the Executive Director of Social Investment Fund Mr. William Lamb Jr., among others.
The project is designed to improve the quality of life for all Belizeans traversing Punta Gorda. It includes the rehabilitation of Robert Pennell Street, Lucille Melendrez Street, and Hopeville Loop, coupled with an extensive drainage system, street markings of finished chip and seal surface, and installation of road signs.
The road and drainage infrastructure project will also contribute significantly to the socio-economic development of Punta Gorda, its surrounding communities and by extension, the wider society of Belize. Completion of the project means that residents will no longer have to be confronted by poor road conditions such as dust during the dry season, as well as mud and puddles of water during the rainy season. Other key beneficiaries will include vehicle owners who will also have a more pleasant driving experience.
The project was implemented by the Belize Social Investment Fund (BSIF) under Phase II of the Belize Municipal Development Project (BMDP). Other components of the infrastructure project include capacity building for the municipality, technical assistance to central government in municipal management, project management and administration. Another notable achievement in Punta Gorda by BMDP is the rehabilitation of Punta Gorda Town Administration Offices and adjacent Town Hall.