New fourth bridge over the Panama Canal plus line three of the Metro

New fourth bridge over the Panama Canal plus line three of the Metro

There have been big development headlines these last few weeks in Panama as the government confirmed plans for the 4th bridge across the Canal, line 3 of the Metro, along with a renewed bidding process to expand the Amador Causeway to 4 lanes.

It is estimated that the cost of the fourth bridge over the Panama Canal will be around $800 million and will be funded by the government of Japan.  According to Roberto Roy, director of the Metro project “he location of the structure “will be in the north, relatively close to the Bridge of the Americas and bordering the port of Balboa. We chose this route because it (will provide) the best access to the Northern Corridor and the Metro Station at Albrook.” The project is expected to last at least 4 years and will be an international tender and not restricted to only Japanese companies.

Also in the news is the advancement of line 3 of the Metro mass transit syste.  This past week, it was published that the Japanese government, through it’s development agency JICA along with its own funds, ordered the feasibility study for line 3 of the Metro, which will cross over the new bridge and serve as the mass-transport link the country desperately needs to serve Panama City’s Araijan and Chorrera’s commuters.  That study is due for completion in April 2014 and in theory the metro will cross over the new bridge, meaning we’re still at the very least 5 years away from seeing mass transit connectivity west of the Canal.

On the heels of these two major announcements came renewed interest to expand the Amador Causeway to four lanes.  The ministry of public works requested bids for architectural studies, engineering design and construction along with improvement and expansion that will run the length of the road between the roundabout near the Bio Diversity museum to the entrance of Flamenco Island.  The design is to include specific plans to create new bike and pedestrian lanes, a parking area, along with several scenic viewpoint spots for “rest and contemplation” of the city skyline.

Development like this is one of the main reasons Panama’s unemployment numbers remain low and these types of value added projects tend to boost real estate prices in the areas that they serve.

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