July 29, 2018 / 5:10 PM / a year ago

Chinese consortium to build fourth Panama Canal bridge

PANAMA CITY, July 29 (Reuters) - A group formed of China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC) and China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd (CHEC) won a $1.42 billion contract build the fourth bridge over the Panama Canal, Panama's government said.

The 6.5-km (4-mile) bridge will have six car lanes and a two-way metro line. The Chinese companies initially won the contract in June but the award was postponed after rival bidders appealed the decision.

The construction is estimated to begin this year and will take three years.

Panama and China opened free trade talks earlier this month with the aim of crafting an agreement that could turn the Central American country into a hub for Chinese goods across Latin America. Panama established diplomatic ties with China in 2017 after breaking with Taiwan. (Reporting by Elida Moreno Writing by Christine Murray; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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