The Southern Highway in Belize
Running from Dangriga in Stann Creek District to Punta Gorda and beyond in Toledo District, the Southern Highway is one of the major thoroughfares in Belize. Entirely paved along its length, the Southern Highway measures 97 miles (156 kilometers) long and continues all the way to Belize’s border with Guatemala.
A two-lane roadway, the Southern Highway was completely paved in 2011 and serves as an important transportation corridor in the southern part of the country. The Southern Highway crosses through some particular rugged terrain as it approaches the Guatemalan border, and its completion makes it far easier for travelers to access ancient Maya sites and traditional villages such as Mafredi, San Antonio, Santa Cruz, Santa Elena, and Pueblo Viejo.
In addition to being completely paved, the Southern Highway was also upgraded with culverts and an advanced drainage system to allow for safe and comfortable use even during and after periods of heavy rainfall. Guardrails are installed at key sections and the entire length of the Southern Highway has lane markings. All bridges along the length of the highway have been upgraded to modern, concrete structures.
The government of Belize and its foreign aid partners spent more than $47 million to pave and upgrade this highway as it is part of a long-term plan to boost development in Toledo District.