Sunday, January 22, 2012

One More Year!!!???

A unicyclist pedals behind a bus across the half-demolished Seventh Ave. bridge over 26th St.
Work left to do:
26th St. at 7th Ave. 
In an interview in today's El Tiempo new Mayor Gustavo Petro says that the 26th St. Transmilenio line - which was supposed to be completed in 2010 - will not be operating in March of this year, or even in August, as temporary Mayor Clara Lopez had promised.

A car makes its way down
26th St., amid construction.
Petro said that, because of various delays, particularly the need to demolish and rebuild Seventh Ave.'s bridge over 26th St., the project would not be operating until 2013.

Hopefully, Petro was describing a worst-case scenario in order to see the project finished earlier and appear efficient. He suggested as much, by asserting that the bridge project should take much less than a year.

The trench on Seventh leads to the
planned National Museum TM station. 
Lots of other projects also need finishing: the city still hasn't managed to purchase a plot of land it needs for an on-ramp near the City Council building because the owners are insisting on more money. And the huge roof structure being built over 26th east of Seventh Ave. to connect Independence Park with the Museum of Modern Art has been delayed by neighbors' lawsuits. And then there's the National Museum TransMilenio station, where work is just starting.

Several of the pedestrian
bridges over 26th are completed
 and being used, altho not
officially open yet.
The delays are frustrating not only because finally getting TransMilenio running on these avenues would facilitate the city's transit. More critically, these two TransMilenio corridors are required for Bogotá's more ambitious plan to get traffic moving and reduce pollution: the Integrated System of Public Transit (SITP). Beyond that are the planned subway and possible streetcar line along Seventh Ave.

Of course, all of these ambitous infrastructure plans mean another thing: Expect Bogotá to resemble one big construction site for a long, long, time.

26th from overhead. 

Seventh Ave's bridge is already half-demolished. 

Heavy work on Seventh Ave. 

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

No comments: