Massive highway project to be done by end of 2023,


The Panama-Arraiján highway expansion project is only a few months away from completion. The project that began with an order to proceed on September 22, 2017, includes a construction of 11 kilometers of highway, with eight lanes on the main trunk, distributed in four towards the capital city and four towards Panama West, with in order to relieve traffic and provide a better quality of life for Panamanians who travel daily on this road.

Gilberto Marengo, Head of the Office of Special Projects of the Ministry of Public Works (MOP), details that the road expansion works are being carried out in coordination with the Loma Cová Consortium and the National Land Transportation Authority (ATTT) and It has a physical progress of 70%, as of May 3, 2023.

“Although we are in the process of paving and placing asphalt folders in several areas of the road, some sections of the Pan-American highway are already in operation, thus seeking a substantial reduction in traffic,” says Marengo.

“Although we are in the process of paving and placing asphalt folders in several areas of the road, some sections of the Pan-American highway are already in operation, thus seeking a substantial reduction in traffic”GILBERTO MARENGO
Expansion of the Pan-American highway has an advance of 70%
The road will have 8 lanes on the main trunk, distributed in four going to the city and four back to Panama West. ceded

He adds that despite the progress, many people consider that the project is still ‘green’. “But, you have to understand that we are working on different phases of the project. In addition, the work is within the Panama Canal Basin, therefore, the issue of longitudinal and transversal drainage along the road must be resolved to avoid flooding during rainy seasons, “explains the head of special projects of the MOP .

Marengo also recognizes that it is a mega work, which comprises several companies to achieve an optimal result at the end. “We are working on the relocation of utilities such as drinking water, electricity and telecommunications.

What remains to be done and the beneficiaries

Expansion of the Pan-American highway has an advance of 70%
The work is 70% complete and is expected to be completed between September and October. ceded

Despite the fact that there are only a few months left to complete the construction of the 11-kilometer highway, three kilometers will be expanded and rehabilitated on the road to the Centennial Bridge that connects with the Arraiján-La Chorrera Highway. “We plan to deliver the work between September and October of this year,” says the director.

In this space, work is also being carried out with the social team to acquire and release all the easements towards Burunga.

As it is the Pan-American highway, the most important road in the country, the beneficiaries of this expansion are all the Panamanians who travel on the road every day. “What we are looking for is to improve road mobility in the sector towards Western Panama and the interior of the country,” he highlights.

Expansion of the Pan-American highway has an advance of 70%
The project contemplates a fauna and flora rescue plan. ceded

In March, the MOP and the Panama Cuarto Puente Consortium (CPCP) signed the addendum to the original contract for the construction of the fourth bridge over the Canal, a mega-work that will impact the lives of more than 1.7 million Panamanians and expedite the daily movement of more than 70 thousand vehicles.

The addendum incorporates modifications to the original contract so that the consortium continues with the design and construction of the project for a net value of $1,372.1 million, after separating its construction from the Third Line of the Panama Metro.

Marengo highlights that construction work on the fourth bridge over the Canal will begin next August and it is estimated that it will generate approximately 4,000 direct jobs, in addition to indirect jobs.

Expansion of the Pan-American highway has an advance of 70%
The new road design complies with international standards for the safety of users Cedida

“The bridge will be ready by 2027, but in order to avoid ‘traffic jams’ on the Bridge of the Americas or the Centenario road, some adjustments will be made on both bridges to expedite traffic to Panama City,” he says.

Upon completion of each of these works, the residents of Panama West will reduce traffic times from two to three hours to 30 or 45 minutes.

slight affectations

Throughout the road construction process, users have not been affected by road closures. The few that have occurred have been carried out in the early hours of the morning when vehicular flow is low and, at the same time, the population has been informed through Internet platforms and the media, according to Marengo.

For now, only four lanes remain open. “In general, we in the project maintain several construction roads, we have worked on all our work trying to avoid road closures as little as possible,” he reiterates.

Project environmental plan

The works in question have the approval of the Ministry of Environment. They range from an environmental compensation plan and contemplate a fauna and flora rescue plan. “So far, more than 50 hectares of mangroves have been reforested in Chame and more than one hectare of native species in Burunga, mainly because this project is built within the Canal’s geographic basin,” adds the director.

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