Tucson, Ariz., secured federal funding for an ambitious project to build an electrically powered streetcar with the approval of a $63-million grant through the Federal Transit Administration. Officials with the city’s transportation department finalized the paperwork for the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) funds on Dec. 28. The move protects the project’s funding from congressional stimulus cuts, they say. The city now must find a way to close the $26-million funding gap for the project. The city must close a $26-million funding gap. Tucson also is awaiting FTA’s approval of an environmental assessment, required before grant funds can be
Colombian crews have closed two-thirds of a large levee-canal breach that opened on Nov. 30 and spilled millions of gallons of Magdalena River water across vast sections of the country’s coastal plain. The disastrous flooding, worsened by persistent rainfall, has killed several hundred people, left millions homeless and resulted in billions of dollars in property damage to the South American nation. Photo: Vali Cooper International, LLC/BAR The site of Colombian towns flooded to the rafters recalls visions of Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans in 2005 and, at least in the case of the Dique Canal breach, the silent risk levees
The typical winter rains fueled unusually strong El Ni�o weather pattern have lashed Colombia’ Caribbean coast over the past month leaving hundreds dead, thousands homeless and left the much of the South American country’s infrastructure crippled. + Large Image Graphic: C.J. Schexnayder Breach led to widespread flooding on coastal plain. The Colombian branch of the Red Cross set the death toll at 281 and estimate that a total of 2.2 million people in the country have so far been affected by the rains, floods and landslides. The Colombian government puts the damage estimate at more than $5.2 billion to date.
A $410-million Lima Metro Line 1 is on pace for completion in June 2011, Peruvian officials say. The 18-month project involves the construction of 11.7 kilometers of new train line and nine stations as well as the complete refurbishment of 9.8 km of existing line and seven stations. Approximately 85% of the civil works for the 22-km-long route are expected to be completed by the end of the year. The Consorcio Tren Eléctrico, in public-private partnership with the Peruvian government, is the general contractor. Consortium members include the Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht and the Peruvian company Gra�a y Montero, with
An international consortium has won the $1.45-billion contract to construct the first metro train line for Panama City, Panama. The Consorio L�nea Uno consists of Spain’s Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas (FCC), Brazil’s Odebrecht and France’s Alstom , which will supply the trains for the project. Work is scheduled to start in January. When completed in 2013, the Metro Line 1 will cover a 14-kilometer north-south route across the Panamanian capital, with a 7-km underground stretch. The trains will be powered by a third-rail source using direct current at 750 volts. According to the Panama City Metro Secretariat, the finished
Battling floods, difficult soils and the environmentally sensitive nature of the Amazon rainforest, crews are building a 3,600-meter-long, $400-million bridge with a 400-m-long cable-stayed central section over the Negro River using a 400-barge working platform. The project, marked by a death and environmental controversy, is intended to boost economic development in the Amazon. Brazil’s Manaus-Iranduba Bridge, scheduled for completion by year’s end, will straddle the river close to where the waterway merges with the Amazon River. The span will create a land link between the city of Manaus and the town of Iranduba as well as 30 other, smaller municipalities.
The Peruvian government has initiated a controversial proposal to construct a new road to the famed “lost city” of the Incas, Machu Picchu. Opponents of the idea fear it would destroy the character of the site by making access too easy. The proposed road would connect Aguas Calientes, the tourist town that accesses the ruins, with Santa Teresa, which is 12 miles to the northwest along the Vilcanota River. Currently, the only link between Aguas Calientes and Cusco—the nearest city with a commercial airport, 80 km from the ruins—is a single railroad line that was washed out earlier this year
Construction on a 250-MW hydroelectric powerplant in Nicaragua is slated to begin in November after financing for the $700-million project was lined up through a slate of Brazilian firms and regional organizations. Earlier this year, a consortium led by Brazil’s state utility Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras (Eletrobras) and Centrales Hidroelectricas de Centroamerica (CHC)—a subsidiary of the Brazilian construction firm Queiroz Galvao—was awarded a 30-year, build-operate-transfer concession for the Tumarin hydroelectric facility on the Rio Grande de Matagalpa River, located northeast of the capital Managua. When completed in 2014, the 60-meter-high dam will create a 55-sq-kilometer reservoir in Nicaragua’s south Atlantic autonomous
Belgian dredging firm Jan de Nul has won the Panama Canal expansion’s last major contract, a $54.5-million job to dredge and excavate 4 million cu meters at the entrance of the historic waterway’s Pacific access channel. The contract will make way for construction of new and larger locks. + Image Photo: Courtesy of Panama Canal Authority Excavation work to build an access channel from the Panama Canal to new, larger locks at the Pacific entrance of the waterway is more than half completed. Photo: Courtesy of Panama Canal Authority Excavation proceeds at the canal’s Atlantic entrance for the new, larger
Redevelopment of Lower Manhattan’s World Trade Center site has been beset with problems: design changes, funding problems, and political squabbling. And, there wasn’t even much to see at the site for nearly a decade, save for the tops of cranes and a few rumbling trucks, as a tall fence wrapped the perimeter. Photo � Joe Woolhead Redevelopment of Lower Manhattan�s World Trade Center site. Related Links: Downtown Moves Organized Chaos The Next Grand Central But nine years after the September 11 attacks, there finally are tangible signs of progress. A memorial and a tree-filled plaza will be completed next year,