Construction of $2bn bridge on the Isthmus of Panama is ‘off to a bad start’, says construction firm
Construction of a $2.3 billion bridge linking Panama City to the International Boundary and River Commission (IBRC) is “off to an awful start”, according to a Panama City-based construction company.
The project, which is being led by MECSA, is the first phase of the Panama Canal Development Fund’s (CPDF) $500 million bridge project, but there is no immediate word on how long it will take to complete.
It will be the largest bridge in the Caribbean and the first to cross the Panama Strait since the Panama-Brazilian Canal was completed in 1974.
The bridge will connect the Isthmian Sea to the Pacific Ocean via a new canal that will carry cargo in and out of Panama and provide access to the Panama City airport.
But there is concern over the project’s completion, as well as concerns about how the canal will affect Panama’s economy.
“This is an expensive project, and the construction process is going to be quite costly, as it is,” said Eladio Vázquez, MECSAD’s director of communications.
“The Panama Canal is a key strategic asset for the country, but the development of this canal is going in the wrong direction.”
“We are worried about how this project is going.
We have not yet seen how it is going, but we are not very hopeful.”‘
Bad start’The Panama City area is home to around 20,000 people.
The CEPDF is responsible for financing construction of the $2 billion bridge.
The canal was completed with $2,400m of public money, and a further $600m was financed by private investors, who contributed $100m to the project.MECSA is a consortium of companies that has received government funding.
The first phase is expected to cost $1.7bn, and it is expected that the first $500m of the project will be financed by the CPDF.
“I think the bad start is that there are some delays,” said Vásquez.
“But I think it’s going to happen.
We’re hoping it will be done.”