In the News from Panama

Work Set to Begin on Fourth Bridge Over Canal

After years of planning and anticipation, construction work is formally set to begin on a fourth bridge over the Panama Canal.

A consortium of the Chinese Communications Construction Company LTD and China Harbor Engineering Company will begin the rock excavation work within 30 days, according to coverage in El Capital Financiero. The final design is not scheduled to be delivered until next April, but the groups are going to start the process of rock excavation on the west side to start the building process.

This is great news for everyone in Panama. The fourth bridge will change the transportation dynamics of the country, easing traffic over the existing bridge and opening the west to more business and tourism. The bridge will be 6.5-kilometers and handle 130,000 vehicles day, according to reports. It will also add an extension of the Panama City metro, creating a mass transit link to propel the region into the world of modern transportation.

The article made it clear that there are many issues to be resolved before the bridge is ultimately finished, but the progress is good to see and an indication of the future. The opening of the west will ultimately add to the economic boom and add another link to the fast-growing Panama Pacifico area.

The news of the first work comes on the heels of the opening of the third bridge over the Canal, on the Colon side. That bridge is an engineering marvel, “the world’s longest cable-stayed concrete bridge.”

The third bridge will make a significant improvement in the lives of thousands of people in the region. But the fourth bridge is the one to watch. As it nears completion, it will likely launch a flurry of economic activity that will be fun to watch.