Panama’s subway soon to open

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Metro wagons make first trip

Martinelli and the Metro.

Martinelli and the Metro.

The first run of the new Metro system was carried out in recent weeks. The ceremony included a partial test run of the underground portion of the country’s landmark infrastructure project, a subway system, second to the expansion of the canal.

Nearly 92% completed, it will begin at the National Transport Terminal in Albrook and run through the metro core of Panama City, then pop out from under ground as its 15.8 kilometer run continues through the cities suburban areas all the way to San Isidrio.

President Ricardo Martinelli and most of his Cabinet went for a two-kilometer ride along which the president was the conductor for a stretch. He said: “the Metro is a new solution for the serious transport problem in Panama and the new government that will assume power on July 1 2014, could eventually commission the third line.” He reiterated that with the three metro lines, Panama City’s congestion issues will be solved.

Panama’s metro system is the first and only planned in Central America. Line 1 has come at a $1.8 billion dollar investment. Trains were built by the French firm Alstrom, in a consortium alliance with the Brazilian firm Odebrecht and the Spanish firm FCC.

Over one million people are calculated to benefit from the new metro. Tender for Line Two will be offered over the next few months.

Comparative data:

Panama’s Metro costs $1.8 billion

-$1.6 billion:

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-$2.8 billion:

The Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel is a bored road tunnel that is under construction in the city of Seattle in the U.S. state of Washington. It is scheduled to open in late 2015. The 2-mile (3.2 km) tunnel will carry State Route 99 under Downtown from the SoDo neighborhood to South Lake Union in the north.

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