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City finally and officially cuts ties with Spanish tram management consortium

Cuenca Mayor Cuenca Marcelo Cabrera announced Thursday that the city has officially terminated the contract with Consorcio Cuatro Ríos de Cuenca (CCRC), the Spanish company managing construction of the tranvía. The action is unilateral and Cabrera says he expects to face CCRC in court in the coming months.

Mayor Marcelo Cabrera talks to reporters on Thursday.

Cabrera said he signed the termination resolution in the public interest, acting under Ecuador’s Law of National Public Procurement System in response to breach of contract. CCRC walked off the job in October in a dispute over what it claimed was lack of payment and project changes. Subsequent negotiations failed to resolve the conflict.

The decision to end the contract came the after city attorneys reviewed 2,066 pages of CCRC documents that claimed it was the city that violated the original contract..

As a result of the termination, Cabrera said, the city will move quickly to name a new project manager to complete construction, which he says is 85% complete. “We have been in discussions with several groups and this will happen very soon,” he said.

The resolution also means that the city has immediate access to all funds to continue tram construction. Some funds were frozen during the negotiations conducting through the attorney general’s office.

The city will also move aggressively to recover money from CCRC, including a good faith bond and fines for breach of contract.

On Tuesday, Cabrera had extended for 45 days the emergency order that allowed the city to assumed tram project management duties.