Panama’s Beach Corridor: Construction Update

It’s happening. The official plans to expand the so-called Corredor de las Playas (Beach Corridor) section of the Pan-American Highway between La Chorrera and San Carlos are out and soil testing has begun.

The total project — a 50km stretch — is valued at $892 million and will be built by a consortium formed by FCC Construcción and Operadora CICSA (the infrastructure and construction arm of Carlos Slim’s Grupo Carso). Construction of Phase 1, which will encompass the exit from La Espiga de La Chorrera to Chame, will begin this year, and the word on the street is that it should be completed in under two years.

The plans now include overpasses (viaducts) and detours in the beach towns dotting the way. So, in addition to expanding the highway to six lanes, there’ll be a vehicular overpass at Arraijan-La Chorrera (near La Espiga). Detours will be built in the two “bottleneck” towns of Capira and Cerro Campana to ease traffic via new roads bypassing town centers. So, drivers will have the option of either staying on the Pan-American Highway, or avoiding those towns altogether on their drive down to the beach. There’ll be detours around Bejuco, Chame and Coronado too.

What a great start to your weekend on the beach!

Check out some of the designs that were released by the Ministry of Public Works here, as well as a video about the project, courtesy of this article in El Capital Financiero:

 “Corredor de las playas” projected route | Source: MOP

“Corredor de las playas” projected route | Source: MOP

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