Tranvía would be completed by now if plans had been followed, says former mayor

Sep 20, 2016 | 23 comments

Former Cuenca Mayor Paúl Granda is blaming the current city administration for the delay in completion of the tranvía. “The project would be finished today if they had used the plans we developed five years ago,” Granda said in a radio interview Monday.

Former mayor Paúl Granda, current mayor Marcelo Cabrera.

Former Mayor Granda and current Mayor Cabrera.

Granda also said that politics are at the center of delays and disruption to businesses and traffic in the city’s historic district. During the last mayoral campaign, current Mayor Marcelo Cabrera had questioned the expenditure of almost a quarter billion dollars on the tram project. After he assumed office, he stopped construction of the project for almost two months, waiting for confirmation from UNESCO that work in the historic district met specifications.

“In addition to waiting for UNESCO to approve, for the second time, plans in El Centro, the city also made changes to the plan,” Granda said, referring to a redesign of the train platform in the historic district. “This caused more delays and caused terrible hardship for businesses on the tram route,” he said.

Regarding current problems with the Spanish company managing the project, Granda says they could have been worked out through better communication. Last week, Cabrera blamed the Basque Consortium for failure to meet deadlines and to pay workers and said the city may terminate the contract with the group.

“The situation should have never reached this point,” Granda said. “The consortium is a Basque government company that has proven its competency in many projects. If the mayor and city administration had been in better contact with consortium management, there would be no problem,” he added.

Cabrera claims that many of the plans left by the Granda administration were inadequate and had to be redrawn. He also said that the project was more than a year behind schedule when he inherited it.

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