Asunción urban development plans center on Paraguay river

Monday, January 25, 2016

Paraguay's public works and communications ministry (MOPC) has begun presenting plans to redevelop the ports of Asunción and areas surrounding the Paraguay river and bay.

The plan considers public-private investments of US$350mn in development of the area, which will include components such as a station for what will be Asunción's first bus-rapid-transit (BRT) system (Metrobús), erection of public buildings and construction of a ferry terminal, among other aspects.

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The program will be carried out alongside other development and rehabilitation plans, such as the plans for sanitation and cleanup of Asunción bay, the MOPC said in a release.

Private sector development, which is estimated to provide around US$250mn of the aforementioned investment, could include commercial leases for restaurants, hotels and real estate.

In the first phase, around US$100mn in public funding would go towards the construction of public buildings, a fine arts museum, the Metrobús station and a public park. Part of the funding is being made available through a non-reimbursable technical cooperation provided by the IDB.

Construction of the public buildings should begin as early as 2017, while the full project could be completed by 2023, the MOPC said.

The Paraguay river, the landlocked country's principal link for foreign trade, runs from Brazil's southern interior through Paraguay and Argentina, where it converges with the Paraná river before spilling into the Atlantic Ocean via the Río de la Plata estuary. The MOPC is in the process of contracting technical services to improve the navigability of the waterway.

Flooding in Asunción and other parts of the country as a result of the Paraguay river overflowing has caused serious problems over the years, with the most recent event occurring in late December.