A toast to the fourth bridge
The symbolic first shovel of earth for the construction of the $1.518 billion fourth bridge across the Panama Canal was turned by President Juan Carlos Varela in La Boca, Balboa on Thursday May 2,
It was the last photo op in a flurry leading up to Sunday when his successor will be chosen in the country’s election that could see a major shift in the National Assembly if the “No to re-election” campaign bears fruit.
The fourth bridge aims to improve the road connection between the capital and West Panama, which is used by 130,000 vehicles each day,It will be built by The China Communications Construction Company and China Harbor Engineering Company Consortium which has e already received $67 million for the start of the project.
The work consists of a cable-stayed bridge with six lanes for vehicles and two lanes for line 3 of the Panama Metro, which will connect Albrook with Ciudad del Futuro, in Arraiján.
Varela said that between both projects the investment will be around $4 billion. "We are laying the foundations for the cities of West Panama to integrate more into the economy of the country," he said.
The bridge and the access viaducts will have a length of 2.1 kilometers. In addition, the work, which is scheduled to take four and a half,years includes the creation of two interchanges on the east and west sides of the bridge, which will have an extension of 34 kilometers between roads, ramps and viaducts.
So the Chinese will build this bridge and my bet is that they will use Chinese workers and/or supervisors. A use of local firms would help develop the expertise and keep it in Panama'