More El Centro streets close for tram work; safety protocols are being established

Mar 29, 2016 | 12 comments

Still answering complaints about missed construction deadlines and extended working hours, tram project manager Gerard Fernandez announced yesterday the closing of Gran Colombia and Mariscal Lamar between Padre Aguirre and Tarqui. New barriers will be erected by this afternoon, he said.

chl tram

Tram cars in the yard off Av. Las Americas.

“As in other areas, this will have an impact on traffic and we are working with transit police to make it as painless as possible,” Fernandez said.

In response to questions from city councilman Marco Avila about whether the project will meet its July deadline, Fernandez said a decision has not yet been made to extend it. “We have installed about 70% of the track and have been making excellent progress in recent weeks,” Fernandez said. “At this point we are not making scheduling adjustments.”

Avila said he doubts that the deadline can be met. “The recent project documentation is vague on the question and area residents deserve honest answers,” he said. Avila said he has requested more information about the schedule.

Including construction of the main train yard and acquisition of the rolling stock and computer systems, the city says the quarter-billion dollar project is more than 90% complete.

Meanwhile, a citizen security committee is meeting with judicial officials to finalize safety and law enforcement protocols for the tram. The committee is developing procedures for cases of accidents and well as rider safety and says it will deliver a final report in June.


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