Property owners in El Centro want to know when tram operations will begin

Apr 7, 2017 | 1 comment

Property and business owners in Cuenca’s historic district say they are still waiting for a definite schedule of when the tranvia will go into service.

Tram construction on Av. Espana. (El Tiempo)

“We ask and we ask and never get a clear answer,” says clothing store owner Jorge Ramos. “Knowing this affects our livelihood and we are frustrated at not getting a straight answer.”

Ramos says he has been told that work will finished by the end of the year but that a testing period will follow before the system goes into operation. “I hear two months. Then I hear three and four,” he says. “Which is it? We see that progress is being made but we still don’t have a final date of when the train will be open to the public.”

Trotsky Narváez, tram technical coordinator, says answers should be forthcoming soon. “We are still looking for a replacement for CCRC and we should have them in working soon,” he said. “I’m sorry, however, that I cannot give a day and time.”

Narváez also said his office is conducting a thorough evaluation of work that remains to be done. Among unfinished projects, he says, is the main tram terminal on Av. Mexico at Av. Unidad Nacional. Although the structure is completed and all tracks are installed in the yard, some machinery still needs to be installed.

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“When CCRC (Four Rivers Consortium of Cuenca) walked off the job they did not provide an inventory of work that remained to be completed,” Narváez said. “All the workers at the terminal hired by CCRC are gone so we are making an inventory of what remains to be accomplished.”

He adds that daily maintenance and testing of the 12 tram units in the terminal continue.

Former tram project manager CCRC left the project in October, claiming it had not been paid for changes to the project. The city of Cuenca and CCRE are currently in court-ordered mediation about the dispute in Santiago, Chile.

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