LatinNews Daily - 30 March 2023

In brief: Panama and China consortium announce restart of key project

*Panama’s minister for public works (MOP), Rafael Sabonge, and Wang Jun, the general manager of Chinese consortium Consorcio Panamá Cuarto Puente (comprising China Communications Construction Company LTD and China Harbour Engineering Company LTD), have signed an addendum regarding the construction of the fourth bridge over the Panama Canal. The US$1.4bn contract to carry out the works, which will connect the centre of Panama City with the cities of Arraiján and La Chorrera in Panamá Oeste province, was signed in 2018 but was subsequently held up over issues of finance and changes to the design of the project. At one point the government considered combining the fourth bridge with line 3 of the Panama City metro, with the bridge supplying both a road and a rail connection for the metro line over the canal. However, both projects have since been separated and the line 3 initiative now includes a tunnel under the canal. According to the Panamanian government, which describes the fourth bridge as “one of the most significant projects of the last 20 years,” it is expected to carry some 70,000 vehicles per day, will benefit over 1.7m Panamanians, and generate over 4,000 jobs.

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