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Mayor extends tram construction emergency while Moreno pledges federal support to complete the project

Cuenca Mayor Marcelo Cabrera has extended the state of emergency that allows the city to manage tranvía construction. “If we have to, we are able and willing to finish the project ourselves,” he said Tuesday.

Lenin Moreno addresses a crowd at Otorongo Plaza Tuesday.

The controversial project received an added boost Tuesday night when leading presidential contender Lenin Moreno said that, if necessary, the national government will provide “all resourses necessary to finish the train.” Moreno was speaking to several thousand supporters in Cuenca’s Otorongo Plaza on the final leg of his presidential campaign.

The extension of the tram emergency is the second declared by Cabrera. The Spanish project manager, CCRC, walked off the job in October following a payment dispute with the city.

“There is no alternative in the matter,” Cabrera. “The order must be in place to allow us to continue the work while we find a new contractor.” He added that during the new declaration, work will expand to Avs. de las America, España, and Milchichig. “These have been neglected as we focused on the historic district and it is time that we expand our construction zone.”

In his speech to the Otorongo Plaza crowd, Moreno said that Cuenca is the “cultural and historical heart of Ecuador” and said that the tram will help introduce the city to the world. “We will do what is necessary to assist Mayor Cabrera complete this important project,” he said.