For many years, the highway between the communities of Nuevo México and El Chungal, north of Panama´s capital city, suffered from decay. Sensing a significant need, Cemex completed a study to propose the implementation of cost-efficient technologies that could improve the highway’s condition. As a result, in 2015 the government of Panama, through its Ministry of Public Works, embarked on a project with Cemex to rehabilitate 5.7 km of the road, a project that is approximately 45% complete and is expected to be delivered in June of this year.
This highway is important to locals and to the surrounding regions because it is one of the main access points to the Chagres National Park and the Alajuela Lake, some of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. The current administration hopes this rehabilitation will help further encourage tourism and spur the local economy.
“The realisation of this roadway represents a joint effort between the government, the community, and Cemex,” according to Andrés Jiménez, Cemex President in Panama. The scope of the project also includes the addition of sidewalks for pedestrians and ditches for channeling rainwater and is expected to benefit an estimated 15 000 people in the region.
The proposed combination of Cemex’s thin concrete pavement solution and concrete overlay technique, commonly known as “white-topping,” allowed for an expansion of the original project proposal from 3.6 km to 5.7 miles of rehabilitation.
Cemex’s proposed solutions offer increased durability and require less maintenance, expanding the road’s life cycle to approximately 20 years. Other important benefits include increased safety, since concrete pavements produce higher traction that reduce braking distance and they also reflect more light than other materials like asphalt, resulting in higher night visibility and reducing lighting expenses. Concrete also absorbs less heat compared to asphalt pavements, contributing to a reduction in vehicle gas consumption as well as energy consumption of surrounding buildings.
At the press event for the inauguration of the project, Juan Carlos Varela, President of the Republic of Panama, stated that “this project has no other interest than to respond to the needs of the people of this community and improve their quality of life.”
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/the-americas/27012016/cemex-innovations-hope-quality-life-panama-392/