Cuenca asks feds for an additional $17.8 million for tram construction
The city of Cuenca is asking the federal government for an additional $17.8 million to increase overtime hours and to provide a public information campaign for the city’s new tram system, Tranvía de los Cuatros Rios.
Mayor Marcelo Cabrera says the request does not indicate a shortfall in project funds, but is intended to speed up construction and improve communications between the city and the public.
In addition to adding construction hours and boosting the public relations campaign, the new funds would also provide technical training for personnel to operate the system’s computer system. Project manager Jorge Merchan says that some project needs did not become apparent until construction was underway.
Cabrera said that much of the information campaign will be directed at property owners along the tram route who will be affected by construction. In January, he said that funds in the project budget would be used to provide some compensation in cases where businesses or homeowners are adversely affected.
Director of the city’s transportation authority, Gerard Fernandez, formally presented the request for more funds to President Rafael Correa’s office on Tuesday.
Total budget for the tram project is $232 million, with $180 million provided by the federal government with the balance coming from city funds and the government of France.