Update on Main Street tram project PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 18 January 2012 20:12
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The two first containers with the rails for the tram, which will take 30 weeks to install according to the Department of Public Works, arrived from The Netherlands on Saturday. According to city planners, this tram will provide a unique Oranjestad city center experience to cruise ship passengers.
It is to serve as an attraction and help revive Main Street as a shopping and entertainment "destination" for tourists as well as locals. Prime Minister Mike Eman said that the underground work in the portion of Caya Betico Croes known as the Main Street will be finalized in the coming weeks, during which timeframe a public tender is to be announced for the streetscape as well. This would include construction of the eight tram stops and the gazebos, landscaping, and more. The entire project is scheduled for completion in the next six to seven months. Minister Benny Sevinger of Infrastructure explained that some traffic rules would have to be adapted to include the tram. The management of the tram will be carried out by the Ministry of Transportation, under Mr. Otmar Oduber. It is expected that Arubus will be put in charge of daily operations.
"Thus, based on investments made, there will be a guaranteed constant flow of people from the wharf to the entire city center for the coming 20 years," Eman stated. "This is a durable commitment," he added. He said that the tram should be running by December 2012. The garage for the tram will be built at the former DOW offices, while the BID, which manages the Main Street and neighborhood will have an office next to the Nicky Habibe building. The tram will ride at a maximum speed of 8 kilometers per hour, has no cables and will be powered by batteries charged by solar or wind energy. The two containers hold the straight rails, while the plans and instructions for the curved parts have been sent this week to the company which produces them in Germany, engineer Marlon Croes of the department of public works explained.
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