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Of all the public infrastructure projects announced by the president and our own mayor, the one I'm most hopeful for is the rebuilding of the bridge over the Caldera River next to the Panamonte hotel. The history of this project is that the bridge originally washed out about 9-10 (I'm horrible on dates) years ago. The next year they rebuilt it as the one-lane bridge it had previously been. Now, I love the one way bridge. It gives you an opportunity to slow down, defer to the opposing car, and share a friendly wave with each other. This whole process didn't take more than 15-20 seconds out of your day. I guess I was in the minority because there was a growing outcry -- mostly from ex-pats I think -- to make the bridge a two laner. So the mayor had his crew go out and start excavating around the base of the bridge in order to put in a second lane. And then along came the next big flood. Now, my theory is that the bridge had been so weakened from the excavating that it was no match for the flood. Of course two floods in 2 years was demoralizing and it looked like the bridge would never be rebuilt. I'm so happy that they're reconsidering. I always think of the workers who live on my side of town (Jaramillo and Palo Alto) who have to walk twice as far to get to work in downtown Boquete.

I also think it would be good for business for the Panamonte. There were many times I would stop by for a take out hamburger and fries on my way home and I expect other folks who live in my neck of the woods did also.

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My sources tell me that the bridge will be rebuilt, to be completed in 2017.

Edited by Franagain

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President Varela was in town today and showed off the design for the new Panamonte bridge over the Rio Caldera with Mayor Walker and local residents.

 

 

Edited by Keith Woolford

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Boyohowdy, this would be a great thing for any of us on the upstream side of downtown!

 

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Will it be a one or a two laner? I can't see where it tells.

Personally, I love the one-laners.

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The one-laners are quaint, but with the increased traffic in Boquete it could be counterproductive. Rather than wait, some people will proceed on to the bridge by the feria.Thus, the new bridge might not serve to alleviate significant congestion at the intersection by the municipio as, I assume, is intended.

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Why are we in such a hurry? The bridge next to the Jaramillo Road is a one laner and that seems to work. I think folks going to North side of town will use the Panamonte Bridge and those going to the South side and on to David, will use the Feria Bridge.

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4 hours ago, Penny said:

Why are we in such a hurry? The bridge next to the Jaramillo Road is a one laner and that seems to work. I think folks going to North side of town will use the Panamonte Bridge and those going to the South side and on to David, will use the Feria Bridge.

The bridge next to the Jaramillo Road services Palo Alto, which doesn't have that many residents. Jaramillo residents don't use it regularly. But if you count the Palo Alto plus all the Jaramillo residents that will be using the Panamonte bridge, that's a substantial number and could lead to congestion, IMHO. One of the bridges principal purposes is for those of us in Palo Alto and Jaramillo to get back and forth more quickly. As for getting in a hurry, there's not likely to be another bridge there for a long, long time, and Boquete appears to be growing every day and more Panamanians are acquiring vehicles.

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Contractors were hauling heavy equipment to harden the shoreline over to the site of the footings on the East side of the river yesterday. So it's starting.

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I can't tell you how happy this makes me. I'll have a straight shot into town and can avoid the dreadful Romero intersection, which seems to get worse every day. This should relieve significant congestion there.

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5 hours ago, Bonnie said:

I can't tell you how happy this makes me. I'll have a straight shot into town and can avoid the dreadful Romero intersection, which seems to get worse every day. This should relieve significant congestion there.

I thought it was only going to be a walking bridge, not for driving.  Did something change?

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2 hours ago, JudyS said:

I thought it was only going to be a walking bridge, not for driving.  Did something change?

Not to my knowledge. All the old posts above refer to driving. One of its main purposes is to relieve congestion at the Romero/Municipio intersection.

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Personally, I can think of 3-4 intersections in Boquete that would actually benefit from a real live traffic light!

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40 minutes ago, Brandy said:

Personally, I can think of 3-4 intersections in Boquete that would actually benefit from a real live traffic light!

Traffic lights.....what a good idea. Could we also ask pedestrians not to walk in the middle of roadways? What about a one-way street into/through town and another one-way street in the opposite direction out of town. This traffic pattern would eliminate much of the congestion and help the traffic flow.

My big scare last week was observing two cars traveling in the wrong direction, in the wrong traffic lane and heading directly at me. Whee...had to use defensive driving thru Restaurant Row area.

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A new Panamonte Bridge sounds like a good idea; right now I'm wondering when the streets will be paved. Anyone know for certain? I've heard many versions with many timelines. Just asking.

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It's time for me to start looking for a small, quiet town in the mountains where the food is fresh, the people are friendly and no one's in a rush.

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57 minutes ago, Keith Woolford said:

It's time for me to start looking for a small, quiet town in the mountains where the food is fresh, the people are friendly and no one's in a rush.

I hear Colombia still have those areas, Keith.  Might be time to move south again. Just don't tell anyone where.

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1 hour ago, Keith Woolford said:

It's time for me to start looking for a small, quiet town in the mountains where the food is fresh, the people are friendly and no one's in a rush.

True in response to some folks' reasons for griping. Others of us, however, are not so much in a hurry as we are in fear for our safety at many downtown intersections.

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Personally, I like the one-lane bridges.

Gives you a chance to yield and then wave to your neighbors.

Who can't afford 20 seconds out of their day?

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Today is the big ceremony for the inauguration of the construction of the new Panamonte Bridge. They have multiple heavy machinery and a big canopy tent with chairs set up underneath. I believe President Varela will be there for the ceremony. They've laid down a cement pad for the approach to the bridge.

I'm so happy !!!!! 9_99_9xD

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Here's some Tweets with propaganda and photos from today's activities

 

Edited by Keith Woolford

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