UN group takes a look at Cuenca’s tram while fired project manager demands $27 million in damages

Jul 27, 2017 | 5 comments

Representatives from the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) took a tour of Cuenca’s tanvía project Tuesday and are considering providing financial support.

Cuenca’s tram waits in the train yard.

One of UNOPS’s objectives is to identify infrastructure projects in developing countries that benefit the local population and might be replicated in other communities. “They were very interested in what we are doing here and believe it will have a major impact on the city once it’s completed,” says municipal councilman Marco Avila.

UNOPS representatives talked to city officials as well as engineers from Alstom, the French company that manufactured the tram moving stock tracks, and other hardware for the project.

Meanwhile, the Four Rivers Consortium of Cuenca (CCRC) is demanding that the city pay $27 million for its losses in managing tram construction. CCRC walked off the job in October 2016 claiming the city had added work that was not included in the original contract. The city disputes the claim, saying the consortium failed to meet deadlines and delivered sub-standard quality work.

The dispute is being mediated in a court in Santiago, Chile.

City officials say they will select a new project manager either this week or next.

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