At a glance: 3 road projects for Panamá Oeste

Bnamericas Published: Tuesday, January 10, 2023
At a glance: 3 road projects for Panamá Oeste

Three important road projects are underway in Panamá Oeste province that will concentrate the attention of Panama’s public works ministry (MOP) in 2023.

These three initiatives can be considered some of the current administration's flagship road developments, together involving total investments of nearly US$500mn.

They entail widening the Las Américas-Arraiján section of the Pan-American highway, widening the highway to Vacamonte port, south of the Pan-American highway, and construction and rehabilitation of the Vacamonte port-El Chumical-Veracruz highway. 

Various officials, including public works minister Rafael Sabonge, visited all three construction sites during the first week of January to supervise their progress.

Widening of Las Américas-Arraiján stretch of Pan-American highway

This project (pictured), which has capex estimated at US$413mn, is now reportedly 57.5% complete. 

It includes widening 11km of this section of the Pan-American highway from Cocolí to Arraiján, just west of Panama City. 

It also includes the construction of 11 bridges and will connect to the fourth bridge over the Panama Canal and with metro line No. 3 in the capital. 

The Panamanian subsidiary of Costa Rican company Constructora Meco is responsible for the works. 

The works are intended to improve traffic flows on this often-congested part of the Pan-American highway, allowing vehicle speeds of up to 100km/h, and includes a central reversible roadway with two lanes that can be used in either direction depending on traffic at peak times.

Widening of highway to Vacamonte

Works on this road are also underway in the Arraiján district. They involve widening the road to the Pacific coast port to four from two lanes for 5km, the addition of a bicycle lane and expansion to six lanes on the vehicular bridge on the road. 

The project, estimated to cost US$57.8mn, is expected to be completed by November of this year. 

The works are being carried out by the Corredor Vacamonte consortium, which also oversaw the design, pre-construction studies and project financing. The consortium was formed by the MECO and Constructora MECO Panamá.

The road will improve the connection to Vacamonte port, which is one of the most important in Panama. 

According to the officials who toured the construction site last week, the project is 45% complete.

Construction, rehabilitation of Vacamonte port-El Chumical-Veracruz highway

This US$20.7mn development entails the construction of 5km of highway and the rehabilitation of an existing stretch of roadway, as well as construction of a bridge over the Bique river, connecting the Bique and La Playita communities.

The works were divided into two stretches: the first, which includes the construction of a 5km, four-lane road, will run from the road to Vacamonte port to El Chumical community in Veracruz. The second section entails the rehabilitation of the Chumical-Veracruz road. 

Once again, the works have been entrusted to Constructora Meco construction has now reportedly advanced 72%.  

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