"Old Town is completely changing, while respecting the laws and regulations that govern these historic sites," confirmed Martinelli, upon briefing media representatives that this project entails work on installing underground cables, sewage systems, water works, lighting and new paved roads.
The president's tour started in front of the main entrance to the Presidential Palace, where the old road is being torn up to provide access for water pipes and electrical connections. The upgraded road will then be laid over with bricks.
His tour continued along 7th and 9th streets until reaching the construction site of a parking garage that will help improve access to the area. There he stopped to announce an initiative to conduct a project, using the tunnel boring machines Marta and Carolina, to dig a tunnel that would link the Coastal Strip with the South Corridor and thus seamlessly eliminate traffic jams in that area.
The president had the chance to observe archaeological findings that had been dug up during the work on Old City and Old Town, containing colonial coins, pre-Columbian pottery, human remains from a pre-Columbian burial, and antique keys and bottles. The tour was completed after a final stop near the Plaza de Francia.
The Panama City Historic Heritage Preservation Project is 55 percent completed and provides for rehabilitating the potable water system, building a new storm water sewer system, modifying the existing pipe network to function as a sewer system, repaving with clay paving stones and repairing the sidewalk where affected, burying power and cable lines in critical areas and installing new lighting and improving the existing lighting system.
The President was joined on this tour by Roberto Henríquez, Minister of the Presidency, and André Rabello from the construction company Odebrecht selected for the project. Martinelli also showed his satisfaction with the progress on the Coastal Strip 3, a project that will provide relief from the congested entry and exit points between the capital city and the western sector.