Panama To Build New Third Bridge Over Panama Canal

Panama To Build New Third Bridge Over Panama Canal

Thursday, December 09 2010 @ 04:41 PM EST
Contributed by: Don Winner
Views: 55
The administration of Panamanian president Ricardo Martinelli is planning to build a third bridge over the Panama Canal. The president spoke today about those plans at a ceremony to lay the cornerstone today at the site of the construction of the new headquarters of the Electoral Tribunal in Ancon. Martinelli said plans are being advanced to study the construction of a third bridge over the Panama Canal, without providing any additional details.
The Bridge of the Americas which is 1,654 meters long, was the first vehicular bridge built over the Panama Canal. Located on the Pacific side of the country it joins the towns of Balboa on the East and Arraijan in the West. Since its construction and opening on 12 October 1962, it was the only bridge over the Panama Canal until the opening of the new Centennial Bridge. At 1,057 meters long, it was built during the administration of Mireya Moscoso (1999-2004). Initially the bridge was used by only 9,500 vehicles per day, but since its opening in 2004 daily use has climbed to an average of more than 35,000 vehicles per day. Contracts for the engineering structures and construction of the Centennial Bridge was awarded to Leonhardt Andrä and their construction partners Bilfinger and Berger, based in Germany. The project was inaugurated on August 15, 2004 even though it was wasn’t opened to traffic until 2 September 2005 – once the new roads leading to the bridge were completed during the administration of Martin Torrijos. At the start of the project it was projected to cost $90 million dollars, but cost overruns drove the price up by an additional $14 million dollars. (La Estrella)

Editor’s Comment: There have been plans to build a third bridge over the Panama Canal on the Atlantic side near Colon as part of the expansion project, and the greater plan to build a highway to connect the province of Colon to Bocas del Toro, in order to open up the Atlantic side to development. The new highway to Colon has been a massive success, and it’s nice to be able to get over to the other side in about 50 minutes or so at highway speeds. Imagine being able to zip over to your new beach house on the Caribbean coast just past Miguel de la Borda – that would be nice. Throughout the country, development follows infrastructure improvements, and the key to Panama’s success has been steady and continued spending on infrastructure improvements and upgrades (such as the expansion of the Panama Canal). Spend tax money to create jobs, expand the economy, and generate more revenue (repeat). Go figure… Anyway, this “third bridge” thing is not new, and it will eventually be built on the Colon side.

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