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Panama 2017 | CONSTRUCTION & REAL ESTATE | FOCUS: THE NEW CAUSEWAY

With a fresh makeover and upcoming projects in the area, the new Amador Causeway is a key part of Panama's maritime development strategy.

The Amador Causeway is one of the longest boardwalks in the capital. Located in the west of Balboa, the Calzada de Amador was originally designed to serve as the canal's breakwater, stretching for 6km out into the bay, connecting the city with four islands next to the Pacific Ocean. Built in 1913 with rocks excavated during the construction of the Panama Canal, the causeway connects the continent to the islands of Perico, Flamenco, and Naos. The causeway features views of the Pacific entrance to the canal and the line of vessels waiting their turn as well as the breathtaking skyline of Panama City. Amador has established itself as a well-known escape among Panama's wealthier residents, who come to jog, swim, stroll, rollerblade, or cycle while enjoying the sea air and the views. The northern section of Calzada has been turned into an entertainment area that is now the location of upscale bars, restaurants, hotels, and a marina.

2017 marks the inauguration of the new causeway. After three years of works, Varela's government launched the new Calzada de Amador on April 2017. The project, developed by Ininco SA, was built at a cost of over USD74 million. The new causeway is characterized by the construction of two new additional lanes for traffic that will connect the main roundabout with the Monument of the National Flag, and with the main entrance to Flamenco Island. New roundabouts and dedicated cycling and pedestrian lanes were also constructed, along with a leisure center, including three areas for sports, recreation, and public toilets, and the new causeway features 7.5km of green spaces, play areas, and parks. The entire promenade will be illuminated by LED streetlights.

The initial cost of the project—conceived during President Martinelli's administration—was USD66.4 million. The Varela government subsequently approved a new lighting system, costing USD729,222, a new design for the bicycle lane, and a new network of pipes, costing USD5 million. The maintenance activity executed over the last 36 months came to slightly over USD2 million. The new avenue stretches for 4km and features a drainage and sewer system as well as 3.2m wide lanes for 115 vehicles and buses.

This new project is vital for the development of Panama's maritime industry. There are also other projects in the works in the Amador area designed to further develop the local maritime sector, including a cruise terminal that can simultaneously accommodate two ships and the state-of-the-art Amador Convention Center. During an interview with TBY, Jorge Barakat Pitty, the Minister of Maritime Affairs, talked about the construction of a new port in Amador: “One of the top projects for President Varela this term is the development of a maritime port for cruises in the Pacific in the Amador area. The tender will be decided in March 2017, and we foresee the finalization of this project within 18 months." The new terminal will be a USD30 million investment and will encompass an area of 30ha in Perico Island.