Mayor extends tram emergency, considers ending negotiations with the Spanish project management company

Dec 15, 2016 | 9 comments

Cuenca Mayor Marcelo Cabrera has extended the emergency declaration allowing the city to continue project management of tranvía construction.

Tram workers in the historic district.

Cabrera said that work during the 60-day extension will move beyond the city’s historic district, to other areas of the tram route.

City project coordinator Guillermo Argudo said work will expand to the Milchichig, Chola Cuencana, and Eloy Alfaro sections of the route, as well as the bridges on Av. de las Americas across the Rios Tomebamba and Yanuncay. More work crews will also be assigned to Av. España, he said, where business owners have complained of lack of progress.

Argudo said the city is considering unilateral termination of the contract with Cuatro Rios Consortium of Cuenca (CCRC), the Spanish project management company that walked off the job in October following a financial dispute with the city. “We are looking into our legal options but are not ready to make a move at this time.”

According to Argudo, if all association with CCRC is terminated, the city would consult with French tram manufacturer Alstom to find technical and engineering talent to complete the project. Negotiations with CCRC continue but have produced no results, he says.

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