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Panama Canal Awards First Construction Contract

by Mike Godfrey, Tax-News.com, Washington

25 July 2007


The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) took a step closer to breaking ground for the expansion of the Panama Canal, when it officially awarded the first expansion construction project contract to Constructora Urbana S.A. (CUSA) last week.

The selection process began May 7, when the ACP released its request for proposals to begin the first of five dry excavation projects to create the new Pacific Locks access channel. This new channel will link a new, third set of locks on the Pacific end of the Canal with the existing Gaillard Cut (the narrowest stretch in the Panama Canal). This project represents approximately 16% of the total excavation for the new Pacific Locks access channel.

At a special ceremony on Friday, July 6, the ACP reviewed the bid submissions for the first dry excavation of the new Pacific Locks access channel. The ACP selected the lowest priced proposal that met all of the project's requirements. CUSA's bid came in at just over $41 million.

"This is an exciting day for the ACP, as we award the first expansion construction contract. It's a significant step forward in the creation of the new lane," announced Executive Vice President of Engineering and Program Administration Jorge L. Quijano. "We look forward to breaking ground very soon."

The scope of work for the first dry excavation will include the removal of non-classified material, the disposal of excavated material and the construction of new gravel roads and ditches. Site work could begin as early as two weeks after the ACP gives CUSA the order to proceed.


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