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Metro Line 1 Costs Skyrocketing

Article Summary:

Solving the problem of public transportation in Panama City will cost higher than expected, since the conditions required to run the construction project will reach above $2 Billion.


Photo Credit: RevistaSumma

Original Article Text From RevistaSumma via Google Translate :

Panama: Cost of Metro Line 1 will be about U.S. $2,000 million

Alstom and Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas, for a total of U.S. $ 1,452 million, only includes the construction of 11 Metro stations, including the development of preliminary designs, drawings, civil works, tunnels, stations, viaducts, design, supply and installation of electromechanical systems, supply and installation of integrated rail, rail and communications controls, provision of trains and contract provisions.

To this is added $ 118 million, which will cost the executive decision to add two new stations to extend the Metro Line 1 at the entrance to San Isidro. Although Roberto Roy, secretary of the Metro, explains that not only will the additional stations, but many other works. Among them mentioned the costs of the Maranon and Curundú stations, which were optional on the consortium’s economic proposal presented in August 2010, which was left to the State’s deciding whether or not the construction and equipment of the same.

This means that the cost of two full seasons was fixed from the beginning, although executed later.However, probably not run the entire work immediately, but the station is built entirely now Marañón and decide next year how much will end the Curundu.

The costs outlined above have embedded security systems, air conditioning and all finishes. But to be operating Line 1 will need to make three more bids, two local and one international, for which estimated an additional cost of about $ 74 million.

The first is local tenders for the construction of galleys for the operation and the second for the supply and installation of escalators and elevators, as the contract for the construction of Line 1 only includes the construction of fixed stations, no stairs or lifting power, which according to Roy is a necessity in this sort of mass transit system as it increases user comfort and provides speed at times of high demand.

The international tender for its part, will be for the award of a payment system that allows users to purchase tickets to use the Metro. According to Roy, there is additional work that has been added to the original draft of the Metro, as three additional wagon trains, and other works to benefit the city as the new water main line 54-inch and new 24-inch line, both paid with project funds.

These works include the relocation of 18.7 kilometers (km) of power lines, the burial of 5.7 km of power lines, changing 70 km of telephone lines and the installation of 9.8 miles of new pipelines for drinking water , 2.4 km of sewage pipes, 3.6 km of storm water pipes and 98 km of optical line.

Other major costs are the compensation of citizens and businesses affected by the works and the purchase of land needed for the exits, as well as the provision for potential increases in material additions to geological hazards and environmental management, so the estimated cost of the work so far is U.S. $ 1,880 million.

The Minister of Economy and Finance, Frank De Lima, said that figure includes the construction of additional terminals to the originally contemplated, which largely explains the increased cost of the work, such as the construction of two terminals in gray initially had not been contemplated (Curundú and Marañón) and will be incorporated into the Line 1 on the time needed. He added that in addition to these works, other expenses not contemplated in the tender for Line 1 is the appropriate insurance and to compensation, the latter because to do appraisals for to determine the value of land and property to be affected by the project.

To Henry Ascencio, vice president of the Panamanian Chamber of Construction (Capac), the steady increase in the cost of construction of Line 1 can be explained in large part due to the rising price of building materials, the difficulties often faced by construction companies for its geological composition of the soil in which the works are executed and the need to relocate utilities, of which there was no prior knowledge.

He said that contrary to what happened in the works to expand the Panama Canal, the companies forming the consortium Line 1 have no previous studies on the formation of soils in the metropolitan region with plans even less reliable information about the layout of the utility lines, which seriously hinders the construction of the tunnels as complex as a mass transit system.

In his view, it is likely that the final cost of the work of approximately U.S. $ 2,000 million, especially if the prices of building materials continue its current trend.

John Bennett, former president of the Panamanian Association of Business Executives, admitted that the Metro project’s estimated cost has increased several times and it is very possible that this will continue happening. He noted that while cost up to U.S. $ 2,000 million, the important thing is that it is vital to solving the problem of vehicular traffic in the metropolitan region, where the “tailing” generate an envelope cost in the operations of companies in the country valued at U.S. $ 3,000 million per year.

The president of the National Business Council (Conep), Anthony Fletcher, believes that while the Metro is a vital piece of infrastructure to cope with the crisis in the public transport system, it is important that the authorities establish the necessary controls to that the cost not to exceed U.S. $ 1,880 million.

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From RevistaSumma

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