Season of Paving
A slow race to which Bay Islands road will be first paved during the Zelaya presidency has begun. The 16 kilometer Guanaja road between Mangrove Bight and Savannah Bight, already graded and approved during Maduro, has a head start, but new paving proposals came out to some promising start.
After virtually completing the paving of the Flowers Bay road plans for more paving of additional Roatan roads are finalized. On April 5, Jose Bonnano, minister of SOPTRAVI, signed an agreement with Punta Gorda community leaders to pave a 3.2 kilometer stretch of the Punta Gorda loop. The central government committed Lps. 10 million while local community promised to raise the rest, estimated at Lps. two million.
On May 18, in another meeting with Melvin Martinez, minister of highways, Santos Guardiola Mayor Terry Bodden and Julio Robinson representing private SG businesses discussed the government paving another 11.3 kilometers of road between Oak Ridge and Camp Bay village. The cost of the project is estimated at Lps. 48 million with another Lps. 10 million promised by private investors. The road construction could also be funded by “A Post Mitch Account” kept in custody of the Central government with funds available for Bay Islands schools and roads. Details about the size and restrictions of these funds are becoming available.
On Roatan Municipal side, two private developers began organizing investor groups to pave the French Harbour to Mud Hole road. John Edwards, a Canadian- Honduran developer, is organizing private owners to ‘chip and seal’ the first 3 mile section. With an estimate cost of $250,000 a mile, six private investors already promised $600,000 in funds.
Michael Cox, an American developer, is organizing another group of private investors interested in paving the 4.5 mile Mud Hole to Marbella section. Roatan Municipal expressed interest in participating in this undertaking as well. Even though the construction and maintenance of these roads is the responsibility of the central government it is the Roatan Municipal government and private investors, because of the increased property values, who are most interested in paving the roads. “The government has other priorities. We feel that it is going to take too long and we can step in,” said Mayor Dale Jackson.
For the foreseeable future on Roatan Municipal the central government has budgeted to finishing the last 100 meters of the Flowers Bay road and the reparation of the West Bay to West End, up to Santos Guardiola road. Widening of the road to four lanes in Los Fuertes is also planned by Roatan Municipal. [/private]