In response to the dramatic growth of Panama City in recent years—along with severe traffic congestion—a design-build team is constructing a 14-kilometer, $1.8-billion light-rail line that will be the first of its kind in Central America. The $1.8-billion Panama Metro project features two earth-pressure-balanced tunnel-boring machines, each 9.77 meters in diameter.
One machine, dubbed "Marta," began work in February and will excavate four kilometers of the southern part of the route. The other TBM, "Carolina," started in April and will do just more than three kilometers of the northern section. Both will be removed at the Iglesia del Carmen Station, which is being prepared for their arrival next spring.