Yes, it’s true. The road is really being built.
About a year ago, in June 2013, Reyn wrote that then-President Martinelli visited Puerto Armuelles to announce that the long awaited 4-lane highway between Puerto Armuelles and the Interamerican Highway was fully funded and “was destined to begin soon“.
Of course, soon is a relative term, especially in Central America. But Panama can be astoundingly quick at road construction.
Which means that now, in July 2014, the expansion from a 2 lane to a 4 lane highway from InterAmericano at Paso Canaos to Puerto Armuelles is well underway.
I took these photos of the construction in early June 2014.
Click on any photo to start the slideshow.
(FYI: The article continues below the slide show)
The biggest stumbling block will most likely be the bridges. While work is being done on them, it is not anywhere near as complete as the road.
Even though Panama is very quick at paving roads, especially relatively flat roads like they are doing now between Paso Canoas and Puerto Armuelles, they are not as skilled at bridges and mountain stretches.
For example, the west-bound bridge that washed out a couple of years ago between David and Panama is still not rebuilt. That bridge has been out for most of our 8 years here. It was finally rebuilt but only functioned for about 1 year, when it washed out. I remember it well since my family and I crossed it less than 30 minutes before it washed away. No one was hurt.
They simply hadn’t put in sufficient pilings. Hopefully they have learned their lesson. I find it encouraging that I am seeing lots of rebar being used in the construction of the bridge right out of my town.
As some of you may know, we only recently returned to Puerto after a much longer than expected visit to the states. It is astounding the number of new things that have happened while we were gone. There seems to be even more energy and new people in town.
The new road, when it is complete is sure to bring even more vitality to this beautiful beach town that Chiquita built.
In fact, the rumors that Chiquita is returning seem to be coming true as well. More on that in another post.