Premium Fourth bridge over the Panama Canal will be built by a Chinese consortium



  |  Reuters

The fourth bridge over the Panama Canal, a $1.4 billion mega-project awarded to a consortium of Chinese state-owned enterprises, will begin to be built in the last quarter of this year, according to official Panamanian sources.

The bridge project, a work that will help to ease the traffic in the Panamanian capital over which a metro line will pass, is run by a consortium of China Communications Construction Company LTD and China Harbor Engineering Company LTD, in a statement.

The first of these companies was commissioned to build the world's longest established bridge linking Hong Kong to Macau and Zhuhai, the three main cities of the Pearl River Delta in southern China.

The tender for the bridge was opened last June, but the contract was only signed on November 9 because the Italian-American consortium Astaldi-Daelin filed a complaint that was eventually dropped.

The infrastructure, that will be 6.5 kilometers long and supported by risers, will be built north of the Bridge of the Americas, one of the most emblematic of the country, located near the entrance of the Pacific Ocean.

In addition to the bridge, Chinese companies have awarded multi million-dollar contracts with Panama, mainly a convention center and a cruise terminal.

Panama has become in June 2017, the second country in the region, after Costa Rica, to enter into diplomatic relations with China and is currently in full negotiations to conclude a free trade agreement with the Asian giant.