Historic district property owners along the route of tram construction are complaining to city officials that they have received inadequate information about the project. In particular, Cuenca Chamber of Commerce director Jaime Moreno says that businesses on the route need a reliable timeline.
“As of now, businesses have not been given a schedule and this is very important for planning purposes during the construction,” Moreno said. A number of businesses on the route, Gran Colombia and Mariscal La Mar, have relocated away from the construction zone, he says, to avoid disruptions.
“Businesses in Centro need to be given precise information about what’s going on,” he said. “Now, all they know is what they read in the newspapers and on social media.”
City transportation director Gerard Fernandez said that schedule information is forthcoming and said every effort is being made to reduce disruption. He said construction on Gran Colombia, from Huayna Capac to Tomás Ordóñez will begin early next month.
Fernandez also said that the city will perform upgrades to water, sewer and electrical lines during the construction process.
Moreno said that the business owners that he represents are not opposed to the tram, as are other owners. “When the work is completed, I think the tram will be an enhancement to businesses in the area. The problem is making sure they are not put out of business while it is being built,” he said.
In addition to asking for a construction schedule, property owners also asked about traffic flow and bus routes near the tram. “We will have those details available before we start work,” Fernandez said.
He also said that the city will provide economic relief to businesses owners affected by construction by eliminating some fees and taxes and reconstructing property entrances.