Roatan’s Beauty, Truth & Wisdom

Paving in Santos Guardiola

The paving of the first stretch of Oak Ridge Road.

Oak Ridge Gets a Long Awaited Hardtop Access

After 45 years of waiting, the capital of Santos Guardiola is now accessible via a paved road connecting it with the rest of the island. This almost historic enterprise was well worth the wait to many residents. “When I lived with my father I had to keep the bucket and the mop handy because of all the dust. This pavement will keep the dust down and that is a good thing”, said Liseth Martinez Pandy, a local resident.

In 2016, the road in downtown Oak Ridge seaside was finally completely paved. This stretch of road started from the seafood factory in downtown Oak Ridge, and ended near the home of the former mayor of Santos Guardiola Miss Ione Miller, the first female mayor in the Bay Islands. Miss Miller’s administration paved the first stretch of road in Oak Ridge. But until the year, access to downtown Oak Ridge was along an unpaved road. It was the ugly duckling of the Municipality as Jonesville, Punta Gorda and Pollitylly all got paved road access in the last eight years.

The new Oak Ridge two-lane road also leads to one of the most amazing hill top views of the communities of Lawrence Hill, Pandy Town, Oak Ridge Cay and Oak Ridge Harbor. The harbor is becoming popular with tour companies who bring their guests here to enjoy the beauty and splendor of some of Santos Guardiola’s most stunning scenery. “The road leads to city hall and to the only bank and credit union in the municipality,” said Mayor Caron Dilbert, emphasizing the project’s importance. At a cost of 6.5 Million Lempiras, the 923 meters long, 6 meter wide and 15 centimeter thick paving is also the largest project ever done with municipal, tax funds. For the more than seven weeks that it took to complete the project, residents of Lucy Point and visitors to city hall and surrounding businesses have had to drive cautiously while being directed by city hall police. For a time, the citizens of Lucy Point were temporarily disconnected from all vehicular traffic and had to use an alternative route accessible only on foot or make use of the taxi dories that are usually used to transport tourists visiting the nearby mangroves of Jonesville.

In order to speed up the curing and setting process, so that the commuters to down town Oak Ridge and Lucy point could drive their vehicles to get to work and back home, the concrete was treated with accelerant. “We will never forget Mr. Carson; this pavement was something that was needed,” said Oak Ridge resident Dona Lee Ebanks. “My dad did a lot as a mayor, but back then there was not enough funding to do a project like this one.” During the project, completed by Construciones y Consultoras Profesionales de Ingenieria, a private company who won the public bid, at least 25 people were employed full time. “I love the pavement and I think it might improve tourism to this area” said Jenny Moradel, a city hall worker who commutes from of Juticalpa five days a week.

Whether, or not this recently completed project changes the economy in the downtown area, is to be seen. However, it may well improve property value in the area, increase the number of joggers on the road, and possible increase the number of sport spectators visiting Lucy Point stadium and its recently completed bleachers.