Panama.- With an extension of three thousand 950 meters, the fourth bridge over the Panama Canal will facilitate the traffic of about 130 thousand vehicles that make this route daily, through six lanes (three in each direction), in addition to having a double track for line three of the Metro.
In the opinion of the Minister of Public Works, Ramón Arosemena, this project will not only improve the quality of life of Panamanians, but will also help minimize the heavy vehicular traffic that sometimes causes traffic jams.
"For our government it is very important to have the security that one of the largest infrastructure projects in the country has the support of world class companies with an undeniable record, as is the Chinese company in charge of this work," said recently the outgoing president, Juan Carlos Varela.
After a controversial tender, the Panama Fourth Bridge Consortium, made up of China Communications Construction Company LTD and China Harbor Engineering Company LTD, won this project that exceeds $420 million in investment, a contract obtained thanks to the withdrawal of the Spanish Dragados SA, which ranked first.
In July 2018, the Panamanian Government suspended an award act, canceled at the request of one of the participants, who outperformed the aforementioned winner Chinese consortium with an offer of 200 million dollars below the Asians, which was considered risky by the evaluating commission.
The road infrastructure will facilitate the development of industrial sectors and services at a national level, in addition to the province of Panama West, by improving the connection with the interior of the country to a population of approximately 1.7 million inhabitants, said Arosemena.
The project also includes an Environmental Impact Study, which contains all the necessary mitigation measures at a social and ecological level, associated with the analysis of pollution, noise, air and water resources.
For its part, the Panama-David train will complement the channel and the aerial logistics and financial platform of the country through 391 kilometers of railway.
According to the feasibility study of the Chinese company Railway Design Corporation, the project will require an investment of 4.1 billion dollars and is based on five pillars: efficiency in public services, mobility, valuation of public and private properties, tourism and enhancement of the maritime route of the canal and logistics centers.
This massive transport system will allow a greater mobility of citizens in an efficient and sustainable way, at the same time that it will bring the productive regions of the interior closer to the capital, assured Varela during a recent presentation of the plan.
The final document includes 19 passenger and cargo stations (eight wagons), while the train will have a capacity for about 750 passengers and will reach a speed of 160 kilometers per hour, which reduces the journey from the Panamanian capital to David, capital city from the western province of Chiriqui, only three and a half hours away. (PL)