Panama is set to have a fourth crossing (photo courtesy Roughan & O'Donovan consulting engineers)
Panama has decided to award a contract for the design and construction of a fourth bridge over the Panama Canal to Consorcio Panama Cuarto Puente.
China Communications Construction Company and its subsidiary China Harbour Engineering Company are heading up the consortium for the US$1.42 billion project.
Other consortia that put in bids included Dragados Sucursal Panamá and Astaldi-Daelim. News agencies report that the government initially chose the Chinese consortium in June but the final award was postponed after rival bidders – as well as competing Chinese groups - appealed the decision.
Roughan & O’Donovan consulting engineers, based in Dublin, Ireland, provided preliminary bridge design including approach viaducts and access roads on the Pacific side and environmental engineering services for the client Autoridad del Canal de Panama.
The 3km bridge will be located north of Bridge of the Americas, near the Balboa port installations, and will connect Panama City to its western suburbs. It has a main span of 540m and a clearance of around 80m over the navigation channel. It features two inverted Y-shaped towers, six vehicle lanes of 3.65m width and two monorail lanes for a future Metro Line 3 service. There will also be a separate bicycle and pedestrian path.
Construction is expected to start this year and take three years. Work includes construction of two interchanges: El Frijol (the Albrook area opposite Marcos A. Gelabert Airport) and a western connection with the Pan-American Highway.