Cuenca city officials say that Parque de la Madre will reopen to the public on schedule in March, 2013. According to municipal infrastructure secretary, Mauricio Ochoa, the 190-vehicle underground parking garage on the south side of the park will open a month earlier.
Originally budgeted for $4.7 million, the project to rejunvenate one of Cuenca’s most popular parks will ultimately cost $5.5 million due to an expansion of work from 29,000 square meters to 36,000. In addition to the parking garage, the project includes rebuilding walking and running tracks and the city planetarium, and the addition of bike paths and an athletic facility with classrooms, dressing rooms and baths.
The athletic building, according to project managers, will be a training facility for runners and speed walkers. Parque de la Madra was the training grounds for speed walker Jefferson Perez, Ecuador’s only Olympic gold medalist.
Boris Mejia, spokesman for B&M&V, the contractor responsibile for the project, said that more than 150 people are working seven days a week to meet the deadline. "Work is progressing on schedule and this week we are adding additional laborers to expedite the work.”
Mejia said that the project will make up 45 days lost to construction because of an environmental law suit. The legal action, brought in May, accused the city of not protecting trees and plants during construction. The suit was thrown out by the court.
ECUADORIAN AND PERUVIAN PRESIDENTS IN TOWN FOR FRIDAY CONFAB
Ecuador and Peruvian presidents Rafael Correa and Ollanta Humala, and most of their cabinets, meet Friday in Cuenca in an annal meeting to discuss bi-national issues, particularly trade. It is the Sixth Annual Summit of Ministers Binacional, which rotates between Ecuador and Peru.
The day-long meeting takes place at San Joaquin Gardens, beginning at 10:00am.
NEW POLICE WILL BOLSTER SURVEILLANCE ACTIVITIES IN CITY
The municipality is training 28 police to add to the video surveillance unit of the Integrated Security System which monitors the country’s 911 crime alert system.
Fernando Figueroa, director of the agency, said that with the new staff aims to reduce response times for requests for help and improve the intelligence work of crime deterence.
Dozens of of video cameras in addition to new lighting systems are being added as part of the overall project. The Baranco area in the historic district has been a focus of the efforts although Figueroa said other areas will also receive improved surveillance systems.
Photo caption: Work on the parking facility in Parque de la Madre continues; Photo credit: El Tiempo.