Cuenca Mayor Marcelo Cabrera described the first two months of his administration last week, saying that the tram project and taxi meter issues have dominated his agenda.
Cabrera said that final tram construction details will worked out after a team from UNESCO visits Cuenca at the end of July or early August. “At that point we will resolve all the problems that we are facing on that project,” he said. He added that he met last week with another UNESCO team in Cuenca to deal with a variety of historic district preservation issues.
Final decisions remain to be made about the San Francisco Plaza project, Cabrera said. All funding for the project was secured during the administration of former Mayor Paúl Granda but Cabrera questioned the proposed design. Funding includes a $6.9 million loan from the federal government and an allocation of $2 million from the city.
Cabrera to send freeway proposal to city council
Calling it the most important project in Cuenca history, Mayor Marcelo Cabrera says he will submit his plan for a $600 million freeway system to the city council this week. The system would provide a six-lane beltway around the city that Cabrera says will relieve traffic congestion in the downtown area.
Planning of the project began during Cabrera’s first term as mayor in 2008 but was dropped when he was defeated by Paúl Granda in 2009. Granda considered the project too expensive and decided to focus on the tram instead.
“It is time we get back to work on the beltway and we need to begin engineering planning as soon as possible,” Cabrera said.
The project would cover 52 kilometers and include 11 bridges, some whichwould be more than 450 meters in length. The roadway would be 28 meters wide, with sidewalks on both sides and be crossed at regular intervals by pedestrian bridges.
The project would connect Ricaurte, Llacao, Sidcay, Sinincay, San Joaquin, Sayausí, Baños and Tarquinia.
Cabrera admits he has not identified all funding sources yet for the project.
Stadium renovation clears last hurdle
Cuenca Sports Minister Jose Francisco Cevallos said last week that the project to renovate the city’s Alejandro Serrano Aguilar stadium is almost ready to proceed.
The last hurdle involves transfer the property from city to national ownership since the national ministry sports ministry will manage and pay for the project. The national ministry also owns the High Performance Athletic Training Facility in the Totoracocha sector.
Cevallos confirmed that Mayor Marcelo Cabrera will present final documents of the stadium transfer to the city council next week for the final sign-off. Cevallos that national ownership of the stadium will endure continuous funding needed to maintain the facility in top condition.
The Azuay Sports Federation, which currently manages the stadium will also need to sign off on the plan.
The final stadium renovation plans will be completed in two months and bidding will begin immediately afterward. The plans call for a seating expansion from 20,000 to 30,000, with a roof to cover spectators. The plan also calls for elevated walkways across Stadium Drive. The project is projected to cost between $45 and $55 million.
Photo caption: Cuenca Mayor Marcelo Cabrera; Renovated stadium plan.