More than a year after the project manager for Cuenca’s quarter-billion dollar tram system walked off the job, the city has a replacement.
The French ACTN consortium signed a $48 million contract on Saturday to complete the project. Cuenca tram coordinator Santiago López says ACTN will have 300 days to complete the work which, he says, is about 70% complete. Santiago excused a three-month delay in the contract signing saying it was the result of unforeseen legal issues. “We wanted everything to be legal and transparent and to avoid the misunderstandings and inconvenience we have had in the past,” he said.
Mayor Marcelo Cabrera said that funding for the project will be released within days so that work can resume.
Although some project work in Cuenca’s historic district has continued over the past 13 months, major construction has stopped since the Spanish company CCRC left the project in October 2016 in a payment dispute with the city. CCRC and the city are in mediation in a court in Chile.
Cabrera said that once work resumes, it will continue until the project is completed. “We will not accept any type of extension, except for events beyond our control, such as natural disasters,” he said. “We will complete the project in 2018.”