In the News from Panama

Panama Canal Bridge Project Passes Milestone

The Panama government has officially rewarded the design and construction contract for the fourth bridge over the Panama Canal, which will provide new connections between the capital and the west beach towns.

The $1.4 billion contract went to a group consisting of two Chinese companies, the China Construction Communication Company, and China Harbor Engineering Company. The project is considered the largest in the country, after the Canal expansion project, with three-traffic lanes in each direction and room for an expansion of the Panama Metro.

Although the contract will still need to be approved through government channels, it is clear work is ready to move forward on a project that will change the dynamic of Panama. On a basic level, the bridge will make it much easier for Panama City residents to work and vacation to the west, one of the most beautiful areas in Panama.

The metro will also expand the city’s connections to Panama Pacifico and the industrial zones on the west side of the Canal, making it easier to live in the city and commute to different sites without getting in the car.

The bridge plan will also change the traffic flow in the city. Part of a new and expanding network, when the bridge is completed it will be possible to drive from Tocumen and cross the Canal with traveling through the center of the city. That will be a huge improvement,  cutting travel times and relieving some of the commuter congestion in the city.

The new bridge will have a sophisticated traffic control system, including variable signing and automatic incident detection technology, according to coverage in Telemetro. The construction deal also includes new interchanges in Albrook, in front of the Marcos A. Gelabert airport and the connection on the west side.

The daily traffic demand in the area is something like 70,000 cars a day, according to Telemetro coverage.