Tram agreement falls apart; mayor says city will take over project management

Oct 16, 2016 | 17 comments

Only days after announcing that an agreement had been reached with the Spanish company managing construction of Cuenca’s tram, Mayor Marcelo Cabrera says the deal has fallen apart. On Saturday, the mayor declared a “state of urban mobility emergency,” a move that allows the city to assume project management.

Cuenca Mayor Marcelo Cabrera

Cuenca Mayor Marcelo Cabrera

Cabrera offered no details about why the agreement with the Consorcio Cuatro Ríos de Cuenca (CCRC) collapsed, although he said in a radio interview that issues of “bad faith” were involved.

Cabrera and an official with CCRC announced late Wednesday night that they had reached and agreement and that tram work would resume Monday morning. In that agreement, the city said it would pay $21 million for work added after CCRC signed the original contract in 2012 and CCRC said it would cover three weeks of back pay for workers and the cost for recently purchased materials.

Cabrera did not rule out the possibility that an agreement with CCRC can still be reached. “We remain fully open to continuing conversations with the builder to find solutions to maintaining our work schedule,” he said. “We will not rest in these efforts,” he added, saying the city would provide more information in coming weeks.

Without Cabrera’s emergency declaration, the project could be shut down for weeks or months as legal issues are litigated.

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