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Ice Road Metaller
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Panama




Panama's roads, traffic and transportation systems are generally safe, with traffic lights having undergone a recent overhaul and most have been replaced by intelligent traffic lights, even at busy intersections where they are not needed. Driving during the midday is usually slow and demanding due to dense traffic, frequent traffic jams, and street renovation programs. On roads where poor lighting and driving conditions prevail, night driving is difficult and in many cases, restricted by local authorities, this usually occurs in informal settlements. Night driving is particularly hazardous in these areas.

Highways are well-developed for Latin America. In Panama City there are six highways:
_ Panama-Arraijan Bridge of the Americas,
_ Panama-Arraijan Centennial Bridge,
_ Arraijan-Chorrera,
_ Corredor Norte,
_ Corredor Sur
_ Autopista Alberto Motta

Corredor Sur lenght: 21 Km


The Corredor Sur is a viaduct that crosses the Panama Bay from San Francisco to the international airport of Tocumen. It's main function is to decongest traffic from and to the airport. The junction with the Corredor Norte decreases the transit traffic volume and it's the faster way to go and exit from the city; the Corridor Sur permits to save around 30 minutes comparated to alternatives routes.
The highway has a lenght of 21 Km 2x2 lanes + shoulders, stretching along a pylon bridge to Atlapa and from there over an embankment through Punta Pacifica, arriving to the juction with Avenida Balboa.
The highway was inaugurated in 2000.

Panama City from the Corredor Sur




Corredor Sur viaduct over Panama Bay


Viaduct seen from Torre de Panama Viejo




Tollgates in downtown Panama. $1.40 the toll Avenida Balbona, $1.25 the toll Via Cincuentenario (visible in the background)
 

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Ice Road Metaller
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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Corredor Norte Lenght: 25 Km
The Corredor Norte is a modern highway in Panama city, built from 1996 with the aim to connect the downtown with the main districts of the northern part of the city. Based on 25 km project, due problems during construction the corridor is not finished yet. The last sections heading towards the international airport of Tocumen is working progress making an entire bypass of Panama City with its junction with Corredor Sur.


Brisas del Golf Toolgate




Corredor orte from Mallorca Park


 

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Ice Road Metaller
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Panama-Arraijan Bridge of the Americas
The Panama-Arraijan is the southern section of Pan-American Highway, aprox 16 Km, that links the city of Arraijan with Panama City in Avenida de los Martires. This section is famous for the Bridge of the Americas.
The Bridge of the Americas (Puente de las Américas) is a road bridge in Panama, which spans the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal. Completed in 1962, it was the only non-swinging bridge connecting the north and south American land masses until the opening of the Centennial Bridge in 2004. The Bridge of the Americas crosses the Pacific approach to the Panama Canal at Balboa, near Panama City. The bridge has a total length of 1,654 m in 14 spans, abutment to abutment. The main span measures 344 m and the tied arch (the center part of the main span) is 259 m.The highest point of the bridge is 117 m above sea level.
When opened, the bridge was an important part of the Pan-American Highway, and carried around 9,500 vehicles per day; however, this expanded over time, and by 2004 the bridge was carrying 35,000 vehicles per day. The bridge therefore became a significant bottleneck on the highway, which led to the construction of the Centennial Bridge, which now carries the Pan-American Highway too.









Heading towards Arraijan from Panama City








 

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Ice Road Metaller
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Panama-Arraijan Centennial Bridge
The Panama-Arraijan is the northern section of Pan-American Highway, aprox 22 Km, that links the city of Arraijan with Panama City. With a cloverleaf junction in Paseo Dorado, the highway links itself with the Corredor Norte. This section is famous for the Centennial Brdige.
Panama's Centennial Bridge (Puente Centenario) is a bridge crossing the Panama Canal. It was built to supplement the overcrowded Bridge of the Americas, and to replace it as the carrier of the Pan-American Highway; upon its opening in 2004, it became only the second permanent crossing of the canal. The Centennial Bridge is located 15 km north of the Bridge of the Americas, and crosses the Gaillard Cut close to the Pedro Miguel locks. New freeway sections, connecting Arraijan in the west to Cerro Patacon in the east via the bridge, significantly alleviate congestion on the Bridge of the Americas.
The bridge is a cable-stayed design with a total span of 1,052 m. The main span is 320 m, and clears the canal by 80 m, allowing large vessels to pass below it. The bridge is supported by two towers, each 184 m high. The deck carries six lanes of traffic across the canal. The bridge is designed to withstand the earthquakes which are frequently recorded in the canal area. The West Tower of the bridge was built about 50m inland to allow space for the future widening of the Panama Canal.

Aerial view of the Pan-American Highway and the Centennial Bridge crossing Panama Canal






Centennial Bridge from Arraijan towards Panama City








Centennial Bridge from Panama City towards Arraijan


 

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Ice Road Metaller
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Autopista Alberto Motta Cardoze (Autopista Panama-Colon/Trans-isthmian Highway) Lenght: aprox 71 Km
The Autopista Alberto Motta Cardoze is a main road of aprox 71 Km that links Panama city on the Pacific coast with Colon on the Atlantic coast. It's unofficially known as Trans-isthmian Highway. The highway is actually work in progress since the project is an upgrade of pre-existant road that linked the two cities (In some areas the road has not been upgraded or improved since it was built in 1943). The highway at the bridge in San Miguelito in Panama City and the project includes the rehabilitation of 71 kilometers of existing roadway. The entire roadway will be blacktopped and widened.
The first section to be repaired is the 8.2 kilometer stretch from the bridge over the Gatun River to Sabanitas, and the 6.0 kilometer section between the town of Cativá and the "cuatro altos" (so named because it used to be an intersection with four-way stop signs) at the entrance to Colon. During works is added additional lanes where the road goes uphill to allow faster vehicles to pass the hundreds of slow-moving trucks that go between Panama City and Colon every day. When the highway will be completed, the distance between Panama and Colon will be covered in less than 40 minutes.















 

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Ice Road Metaller
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Arraijan-La Chorrera Highway Lenght. 20.8 Km

The Arraijan-La Chorrera is a highway was built in 1981 of 20.8 Km, linking the cities of Arraijan and La Chorrera. It's a parallel branch of the Carrettera Panamamerica, starting from the junction in La Estancia district in Arraijan and ending with the junction in Guadalupe district in La Chorrera. While the Carrettera Panamaerica runs through the city (it's the main road in the city center, known as Avenida Las Americas), the highway has a bypass function. At the moment the highway is working progress for a project of rehabilitation and widening. This project has an investiment of $152.6 millions including the widening from 2x2 to 3x3, new illumination and renovation of the bridges along the highway and other restorations.



 

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Are there plans to open a border crossing to Colombia? It would be useful but I know there are some issues between the two countries, mostly related to gang violence and lawlessness in some parts of Colombia.
 

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Ice Road Metaller
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Are there plans to open a border crossing to Colombia? It would be useful but I know there are some issues between the two countries, mostly related to gang violence and lawlessness in some parts of Colombia.
The border between Panama and Colombia is opened, the problem is that there's no road that crosses it. It's the famous Darien Gap. It is a large swath of undeveloped swampland and forest of 160 km long and about 50 km wide. Roadbuilding through this area is too expensive (The zone is national park and home of some native indian tribes), so the Pan-American highway stops in Yaviza.
The Darien Gap can be crossed however by foot (somebody in past also managed to cross it the same with moto and 4WD) but as you said, the zone has presence of FARC, smugglers and drug trafficants.
To cross the border by land, you can do it in Puerto Obaldia and arrive in Capurgana, Colombia. Problem is that there's no road to Puerto Obaldia (you can arrive by plane or by boat). And you can cross the border by boat or by foot (more or less 4 hours walking along the coast), cause in these places there are no cars

In green the Darien Gap
 

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Oh No He Didn't
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Unless I am mistaken I think there is also a ferry service that runs between Cartagena in Colombia and Colon in Panama.

Anyways does anyone here know if Panama has an Electronic Toll Collection system similar to EZ-Pass/Sunpass in the US, IAVE in Mexico, or Quick Pass in Costa Rica?
 

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Ice Road Metaller
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Unless I am mistaken I think there is also a ferry service that runs between Cartagena in Colombia and Colon in Panama.

Anyways does anyone here know if Panama has an Electronic Toll Collection system similar to EZ-Pass/Sunpass in the US, IAVE in Mexico, or Quick Pass in Costa Rica?
You're not mistaken, there's ferry between those cities. It's the ferry that anybody travelling along the Pan-American Highway take.

Yes, there is on the Corredor Sur and it's called SurExpress.
 

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Great thread friend.
 
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Ice Road Metaller
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Avenida Balboa/ Cinta Costera, Panama City
The Avenida Balboa is the most modern avenue in Panama City. It's 3,5 Km long, it has six lanes and it carries daily around 75,000 vehicles. It's linked with the Corredor Sur by the Puente de las Esclavas, and Via Israel by the Paitilla Bridge. The road was totally rebuilt in 2009 with the the opening of the Cinta Costera.
The Cinta Costera (Coastal Beltaway) is a three-phases project of 26-hectare land reclamation; the first phase costed USD 189 millions. The project consisted of four lanes in direction of the Corredor Sur, and the six lanes of the Avenida Balboa as access to the capital. It has also new parks, five gazebos, a bike path, fountains, green areas with tropical plants and a monument of Balboa, the man who discovered the Pacific Ocean.
The second phase started in 2009, that linked the Cinta Costera to the jetty, costed around USD 52 millions.
The third phase started in March 2011, it consists to connect the Avenida Balboa to Avenida de las Poetas through a tunnel, and the maintenance of the existing roads. The cost of this phase is around USD 777 millions. The entire project was assigned to the brazilian company Odebrecht

Avenida Balboa


Cinta Costera


Avenida Balboa & cinta Costera, looking east from Destiny Tower
 

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Islander
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Ice Road Metaller
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
^^ The same panama-guide, plus I read an article in italian that said that the ferry was already operative since May.
La nave “Nissos Rodos” salpa dal porto panamense Colón 2000 e ha una capacità di circa 1.500 passeggeri e 500 auto. A bordo i passeggeri, che possono scegliere tra poltrone o cabine, hanno a disposizione anche un ristorante, un bar e un teatro per spettacoli per trascorrere le circa 10 ore necessarie per arrivare a Cartagena.
Il nuovo collegamento, inaugurato il 10 maggio, stimolerà la crescita del settore turistico e sarà promosso sia a Panama che in Colombia.
I tried to search some infos, it's pretty unclear. Somebody says that the ferry is already there waiting for the permissions, others say that there isn't and will never be again a ferry service. But a online newspaper wrote on 22 May:

Starting May 10, the Nissos Rodos ferry, of the Panamerican Seaways cruise line, began carrying passengers between Colon, Panama, and Cartagena, Colombia. The ferry has the capacity to carry approximately 1,500 people but has launched service at only half-capacity. Transit time is seven hours. The ferry also carries containers and automobiles.
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So I don't know...I hope somebody from Panama reads this thread and could clarify us about this "ghost ferry"...
 
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