The Government of Panama has awarded a $1.5bn contract to the consortium Panamá Cuarto Puente for the design and construction of a fourth bridge over the Panama Canal.

The consortium has been established by China Communications Construction Company and China Harbor Engineering Company.

Once completed, the new bridge will connect the two ends of the Interoceanic Canal, boost metro links to Panama West and improve connectivity to inner Panama.

It is also likely to lessen the daily vehicular traffic on Las Americas Bridge.

“It is estimated that it could be benefiting more than two million people, considering those who live in Panama West and those who travel from the interior of the country to the capital.”

In a statement, the Government of Panama said: “It is estimated that it could be benefiting more than two million people, considering those who live in Panama West and those who travel from the interior of the country to the capital and those who travel to the beaches.”

The project comprises a complete road system, including a main bridge and two viaducts totalling 2.1km in length.

It will feature three lanes in each direction and two central monorail lines for the Metro de Panamá. Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

Drivers will have access to La Amistad Avenue, Omar Torrijos Avenue, Avenida Nacional, Corredor Norte, Veracruz, Pan American Highway (eight lanes) and the Las Americas Bridge under the plans.

The contractor will be responsible for installing a control traffic system on the bridge with variable signaling, incident automatic detection (DAI) and traffic control cameras.

Construction is expected to take 54 months to complete.