Those living on Cuenca’s west side, especially in neighborhoods bordering Av. Ordonez Lazo, can expect major traffic disruptions that will last for a year.
According to Cuenca transportation officials, construction of an overpass at the Simón Bolívar traffic circle at Av. Lazo and Av. Las Americas, will ultimately result in much improved traffic flow. Work begins at the end of September or early October.
The overpass will carry south- and north-bound traffic on Las Americas over the the current intersection. The Bolívar circle, which distributes traffic from Av. Las Americas, Av. Gran Colombia and Av. Lazo, has seen a four-fold increase in traffic in the last 10 years and has become a major bottle-neck.
During construction, traffic will be re-routed through the Puertas del Sol neighborhood on the north side of Rio Tomebamba and along roads parallel to Lazo to the north. “There will be major disruptions while the construction is in progress,” says a spokesman for the project. “When the work is complete, however, the improvement will be dramatic.”
STAR PERU ANNOUNCES PLANS FOR CUENCA-CHICLAYO FLIGHTS
Star Perú, one of Peru’s largest national air carriers, says it will begin international service between Cuenca and Chiclayo, Peru by the end of the year. According the airline's general manager, Roman Kasianov, Star Perú is also considering a Cuenca-Cusco flight. The two cities have been served by several airlines in the past but there have been no flights since 2003.
Chiclayo, a colonial city of 800,000 in northwestern Peru, has has traditional ties to Cuenca dating back to the time of the Ican Empire.
ECUADOR HOPES A 3% BUSINESS TAX CUT WILL RALLY THE ECONOMY
Ecuador’s government is proposing a 3% point tax reduction for businesses to help boost investment and job growth in South America’s seventh-biggest economy, according to production minister Nathalie Cely.
President Rafael Correa’s Cabinet agreed early this week to propose to the national assembly a cut in the corporate income tax rate to 22% from 25%, in an effort to double investment in 2011. Cely, a 45-year-old Harvard University-trained economist, said the tax cut and other measures are needed to boost the country’s economy.
The government is also rewriting at least 31 laws, including industrial, financial, labor, land, and oil regulations, after approving a new constitution in 2008. The industrial bill to be proposed to Congress will create tax incentives for companies to invest in rural areas and sell shares on the nation’s securities exchanges, Cely said.
“It’s very important to investors that the rules of the game are clear and that they have incentives to invest,” Cely said. “In Ecuador there’s been a certain mistrust between the private and public sectors in relation to the economic model that the government wanted to implement.”
The proposed new industry law “makes it clear that we trust productive investment,” she said.
NEW U.S. AIRLINE PASSENGER REGULATIONS AFFECT INTERNATIONAL TRAVELERS
The U.S. Transportation Security Agency (TSA) has announced that it will begin enforcing new ticketing rules for international airline passengers. Part of the Secure Flight program, the new regulation requires that the name on a passenger’s passport match exactly the name on an airline ticket. The new measure also requires that the airlines verify that gender and birth date information match passport to passenger.
In addition, passengers whose names appear on TSA “watch lists” will be required to obtain a U.S. government-issued number so they can be quickly processed through security.
Airlines with routes between Ecuador and the U.S. say they have already made the changes to comply with the new TSA regulations.