Property acquisition is slow for Lasso expansion

Dec 30, 2013

City lawyers are finding it slow going purchasing property along the route of the Av. Ordoñez Lasso reconstruction and widening project.

Work is scheduled to begin in February on the 6.5-kilometer on the route that begins at the Av. Las Americas redondel but acquisition problems could delay construction.

The city’s legal team must purchase 350 parcels ahead of construction but says that resistence from some owners and the discovery of unregistered properties are making the process difficult. Mauricio Ochoa, city infrastructure director, reported that many of the properties are not properly deeded and some have forged signatures on fake deed. “We are also working to find owners who no longer live in Cuenca or even in the country.”

Ochoa says the city will do everything it can to work with property owners but will resort to its power of eminent domain if necessary.

The Lasso project will take 12 to 18 months to complete and will widen the roadway to 22 meters, with four lanes for traffic plus a bicycle lane.