Three-day holiday weekend starts with a bang
Fireworks illuminated the Guayaquil malecon Friday night, marking the beginning of the city’s 198th independence celebration. The centerpiece of the holiday, which is officially observed on Monday, is the Fifth Gran Feria de Guayaquil at the civic center. Promoted as “a party for Guayaquil and the entire Ecuadorian family,” the fair features a variety of displays, a food fair and performances, including a concert today by Panamanian singer Joey Montana. Guayaquil’s tourism office reports that hotel rooms in the area are 95 percent booked.
In addition to Guayaquil, the tourist towns of Baños, Tena and Puyo are also hosting special events during the holiday weekend.
City to build two overpasses and a bridge
The Cuenca public works office announced plans Friday to build two traffic overpasses and a new bridge over the Yanucany River. It says the work is necessary to improve traffic flow on Av. Las Americas at the entrance to Misicata and Baños, near the University of Azuay and at the entrance to the industrial park. Transportation director Isauro Rodríguez says that congestion in all three locations has reached “unacceptable levels” and that the new projects will provide relief to motorists traveling in the areas. The project at University of Azuay involves a redesign of the current redondel and bridge to double traffic capacity.
The public works office says that all studies for the projects have been completed and the bids will be let soon.
Ecuador signs six oil extraction contracts
In a Friday ceremony, President Lenin Moreno signed six oil production contracts valued at $1.62 billion. The agreements with private contractors will activate and enlarge oil fields in Napo, Orellana and Sucumbíos Provinces in Ecuador’s Amazon region. Under contract terms, government-owned Petroecuador will manage the projects, paying contractors for production services. According to energy minister Carlos Pérez, income estimates are based on a $60 per barrel price for oil, which he says is conservative. “We expect prices to go significantly higher in coming months and years,” he says. He adds that the work in the oil field will generate tens-of-thousands of new jobs and have a direct economic benefit for 129 towns and villages in the Oriente region.