Claims that work has stopped on Av. Ordoñez Lasso road-widening project are false, government says, but residents complain about slow progress

Dec 3, 2015 | 8 comments

Boris Palacios, Ministry of Transport and Public Works Under Secretary, says work continues on schedule on the project to widen Av. Ordonez Lasso on Cuenca’s west side.

According to transportation officials, work on Av. Ordoñez Lasso is continuing, despite claims that it has stopped. Photo credit: El Tiempo

According to transportation officials, work on Av. Ordoñez Lasso is continuing, despite claims that it has stopped. Photo credit: El Tiempo

“We are simply relocating work crews to different areas,” Palacios says. “This has always been part of the project planning.”

Palacios said that rumors that the project has been stopped due to lack of funding is incorrect. “Government opponents are spreading stories that there is no more money for the project but this is malicious. Funds for this project were set aside two years and work will continue until it is complete.”

Residents along a stretch of the road closest to Cuenca claim they have seen no progress for weeks.

“The have laid off the workers and removed the equipment,” says business owner Fernando Sacaquirín.  “The government has gone broke and they are leaving us with a mess,” he said. “This is killing my business and all the businesses along the street. When the rains begin in a few months there will be floods here.”

Sacaquirín and other area residents say they plan to meet with officials of the transportation ministry to complain about the situation.

 

Palacios says he will be happy to explain the project plan. “The hysteria about the work is not justified and we can show the owners that we continue to work and will return to their area as the project progresses.” He adds that the active work area is on the west end of the project, which is out of sight of many of the residents on the east end. “This is one of the reasons the rumors have started,” he says.

 

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