Agency: 
Engineering News-Record
Client: 
Construtora Norberto Odebrecht
Project: 
Cinta Costera 3, Panama

The Cinta Costera 3 (“Coastal Beltway” in English) project in Panama won the 2015 Global Best Project in Roads and Highways award from Engineering News-Record (ENR). Louis Berger provided engineering design, technical advice and quality control services for the estimated $345 million project* that has helped transform the city by improving mobility along this major axis. In addition to creating an alternative access to Panama City from the Bridge of the Americas, the project stimulates coastal development, provides urban green spaces and sport areas, and improves access to urban amenities for local communities.

An important part of Panama’s new urban road network, the Cinta Costera 3 project consists of two parts. The first part is a marine viaduct that bypasses the Old Town at a variable distance between 200 and 400 meters (656 and 1312 feet) from the Old Town’s walls and buildings. This section was built to reduce congestion in downtown Panama City and avoid having traffic heading west pass through the Old Town by providing an express route to the city’s west end. The viaduct, with three lanes in each direction as well as a pedestrian walkway and bike path, allows residents and visitors to appreciate Old Town from a new perspective. The second part is a six-lane avenue with spacious parking and public areas, pedestrian and bicycle lanes, and sport facilities that include football and basketball courts, among others. The new avenue connects the nearby neighborhoods of San Felipe, Santa Ana and El Chorrillo to urban green spaces, sport areas and other urban amenities. Other features of the project include a series of roundabouts and traffic-friendly improvements to the multi-lane road leading to Casco Viejo as well as a new bridge connecting to Calzada de Amador.

ENR’s third annual Global Best Projects competition honors construction and design excellence during the past year. The 2015 Global Best Projects winners were chosen by an independent jury of industry professionals with extensive global experience. Criteria included safety, innovation, contribution to the global community, and aesthetic quality and workmanship, with special emphasis on the global diversity of the project team.

*Clarification posted 6 February 2017: this figure is an estimated total construction value of the segments Louis Berger was contracted to support.