The Coastal Strip to open this week
PANAMA. The $189 millionCoastal Strip will be opened to the public on Saturday e without fanfare or inauguration ceremonies, although i...
PANAMA. The $189 millionCoastal Strip will be opened to the public on Saturday e without fanfare or inauguration ceremonies, although it is the achievement flagship of the Martin Torrijos administration.
It is expected that hundreds of Panamanians will come to visit the new park and road system and that the day will be a festive one.
According to the daily La Prensa, the Ministry of Public Works, Benjamin Colamarco said that everything was ready for this weekend.
The Panama Star contact the Ministry of Public Works but it did not appear to have any information about the inauguration or the showing the new traffic circulation in the area.
Minister Colamarco, was planning to open the mega-project between June 20-21, but due to delays in completing the works, the date for the inauguration was never fixed.
The 26 hectare park will give the city another green area and is intended to help to solve some of the traffic problems that exist in the capital city.
The Coastal Strip roads are 100 percent ready and one of the changes is the elimination of left turns as well and intersections.
To replace them, there will six exit roads that will interconnect at different points along the Coastal Strip.
The exit roads are located near Bennigan’s restaurant, Aquilino De La Guardia way, the road near th former American Embassy, the street of the Banco Exterior, the road of the former Metro Cinema and the last one is located at 24 street.
The project constructed by the Brazilian company, Odebrecht at a cost of $189.1 million, was delayed due to legal problems caused by rights of ways.
The Coastal Strip has been criticized by urban architects who feel that the overdevelopment of Balboa Avenue and the Bella Vista area has spoiled the natural beauty of the Panama Bay, while others believe that it will quickly become a tourist attraction and a place where Panamanians and visitors alike.
There are concerns about who is going to pay for the maintenance of the park and the Mayor of Panama, Juan Carlos Navarro said that the municipality does not have the $1 million needed annualy for its upkeep.
Another aspects worrying e prospective users of the park is security, because it could attract criminal elements to the area and there will not be enough security guards to patrol the 26 hectares.
The Coastal Strip generated controversy between the National Comptroller, Carlos Vallarino and Minister Benjamin Colamarco, because the Comptroller said that he will not pay the construction company Odebrecht the money owed until it finishes the work.