Tram is back on track following agreement but another protest is planned today

Oct 13, 2016 | 0 comments

Work on Cuenca’s Tranvía de los Cuatro Ríos will resume Monday morning following an agreement reached late Wednesday between the city and the consortium responsible for construction.

Work on the tram resumes Monday. (El Tiempo)

Work on the tram resumes Monday. (El Tiempo)

The agreement followed a commitment by the city to pay $21 million for work that was not included in the original contract. Project manager Consorcio Cuatro Ríos de Cuenca (CCRC) agreed to pay back wages to workers and cover the cost of additional materials.

Romeo Moncayo, tram project director for the city, said the agreement means that historic district construction will be completed as planned, by the end of the year. He said that CCRC agreed to catch up on time lost during this week’s work stoppage.

The $21 million will cover 138 items that CCRC says were added to the project after the signing of the contract in 2012, during the administration of Mayor Paúl Granda. Within the past month, Granda and current mayor, Marcelo Cabrera, have blamed each other for construction delays, with Granda claiming the project would have been completed by now if Cabrera had followed the original plan, and Cabrera claiming that the original plans were incomplete.

Cabrera said Thursday morning that he was satisfied with the agreement, especially with the provision that work in most areas of the city, including El Centro, will be completed by December 31. “It was a difficult negotiation that was not concluded until after midnight Wednesday. We look forward to getting back to work,” he said.

Meanwhile, business and property owners in the historic district are calling for a protest this morning. They are objecting not only to tram delays but to future plans to create pedestrian malls in El Centro. “We reject the entire mobility plan the city is pursuing, including the elimination of vehicle traffic on some streets,” a flyer said.

Protesters will gather at 9:30 at Santo Deomingo Plaza.

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