Temas Especiales

30 de Ene de 2023


The end of the beginning or...?

The Cemex cement factory on the Cinta Costera has disappeared. After performing the monumental task of producing cement for the thousand...

The Cemex cement factory on the Cinta Costera has disappeared. After performing the monumental task of producing cement for the thousands of interlocking blocks that protect the shoreline, and for the roads intended to alleviate some of our traffic woes. The tower and its appurtenances were hauled away over the weekend.

For residents in the area of Bella Vista that borders the construction area it was the end of the beginning. Perhaps not so historically significant as when Winston Churchill first used the phrase, during World War II, but certainly a welcome harbinger of better things to come. For over 18 months they have suffered from the incessant clouds of cement dust, mingled with dry earth thrown up by the army of Wellsian War of the World machines, and for months the battle progressed night and day. Many were forced to protect furniture and wall hangings with dust sheets.

Now they have to endure only the daily comings and goings of scores of under-serviced dump trucks, challenging diablos rojos in the carcinogenic diesel fumes stake race, and the noise and dust from sky raking construction sites that line Avenida Ballboa.

THE GOOD NEWS is that the Coastal Strip is nearing completion after many twists and turns, and endless traffic jams. This has been compounded by the recently created “big hole” at a construction near the Contraloria, leading to closure of a section of Avenida Balboa.

The last given date for the placing of the final grass sod or cement block, was June 7, which will give lame duck president Martin Torrijos and his recently media shy first lady Vivian a final chance for a major photo op. It will also confirm a New Year prediction made in The Star.

MUD PATH. But while all that concrete is being poured for new roads, bicycle paths, walkways and parking lots, could someone spare a little for the sidewalk in front of our illustrious white elephant, the Hospital Santo Tomas? With the rainy season on us, the area is again reverting to an elongated mud pool, giving pedestrians the choice between taking their chances with the diablos rojos , or wading through mud and water.

LAND AHOY. And for those who will miss the excitement of watching giant construction machines at work, head to Sandborns in Multiplaza, where they have a sale on binoculars. You can use them to watch the creation of a pair of new islands in front of Paitilla and Punta Pacifica. Rumor has it that owners of high priced properties in the toneyer areas of our tropical paradise, are not amused.

Those who have purchased a room with a view, wonder why Panama needs more land. “After all, this is not Hong Kong” says one bemused resident, who wonders why Panama needs more land for more houses, or worse, condos. Others want to know what effect the new development will have on traffic in the area. Ask locals how long it takes them to reach Mr Martinelli’s Super 99 in Punta Pacifica on a Saturday morning.

For some the new islands are the beginning of the end.