Incredible news for Casco Antiguo! Tourists, real estate investors, business owners, and residents’ voices are finally being heard with a several million dollar investment from the government that will repair the neglected old town. Information from La Prensa below (Translated from Spanish)-
Investment to walk through the Old Town
ALEX E. HERNANDEZ
Although the Old Town receives 3,000 tourists every month, this important historical center lacks basic facilities like restrooms and parking. Hardly resist the sidewalks of pedestrians walking and most roads are in bad condition.
Also needed is a clearinghouse of information and documentation as a guide to the nearly 36,000 annual visitors who are caught by the charm of Old Town, and demanding more information on each of its steps.
Correcting these problems will cost the state several million dollars, in the absence of ongoing maintenance in the area.
The project to upgrade the entire road system of the Old Town has been included in the reorganization program that will run the Ministry of Public Works (MOP), through a best value tender, which amount could be around $ 25 million.
This will involve the burial of the cables, recovery work of the sewer system, repairing streets and sidewalks, construction of parking for a minimum of 100 vehicles and lighting.
Vehicular and pedestrian signage will also be part of the work to be made through a tender, the presentation of proposals is December 13.
In addition to the jobs that would hire the MOP, Dario Cadavid, director of the Office of the Casco Antiguo (OCA), said that this year is investing $ 4.3 million in the lighting system of parks and repair of sidewalks are in very poor condition and would not hold the execution of the works scheduled general.
To install the information center, information and visitors will be allocated about $ 1.7millón.
In this project, to be built in the old House of Art is located on Avenue B, diagonal to the police station, part Spanish Cooperation Agency with $ 600 000.
In addition to this center, also installed five booths at other points in the Old Town, which should be running for the first half of next year.
2011 will go another 4 million dollars in the restoration of the Church of La Merced, the Plaza de France and the short walk from the Vaults, will create manuals on procedures to be followed for maintaining the site and checked the installation positions of foreign exchange and ATMs.
With these improvements, is likely to increase the arrival of travelers to the Old Town, named a World Heritage Site in 1997.
It also will make more sense for its residents to be part of a historic site that is not lost in the abandonment.