Work begins today to renovate Cuenca’s San Francisco Plaza; Rejected contract under investigation

Jul 31, 2017 | 4 comments

The construction consortium chosen last week by the city will begin to clear San Francisco Plaza today in preparation of reconstructing the 400-year-old public square. During the past two weeks, the city bulldozed the most of the old structures on the plaza.

Debris in San Francisco Plaza. (El Tiempo)

Delayed for more than two years by political and budgetary issues, the project is intended to make the plaza into an attractive space for public events as well as the small merchants who have occupied the area for decades. The merchants were relocated two weeks ago to temporary quarters on Calle Padre Aguirre.

Ricardo Barahona, representative of the construction company that will perform the work, said clean-up of the plaza would begin on Monday. “We know the process and are ready to get down to work immediately,” he said. “We understand the importance of this project to the city so there will be no delays.”

The project is scheduled to be complete in 10 months under a $1.37 million budget.

Meanwhile, the Cuenca municipal council is looking into an earlier contract to restore the plaza that was rejected when it was discovered it had been awarded to the son of a city employee. Some council members are calling for a thorough investigation which could result in criminal charges.

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