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Tuesday, July 29 2014 @ 04:40 AM EDT

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Roads Collapse on Routes to Bridges

Cars & Transportation By Kathyria Caicedo for Telemetro Reporta - Panama's Minister of Public Works Benjamin Colamarco has confirmed that the access road to the Centennial Bridge in the Western sector has been affected by landslides. He explained that all of the slides have been caused by the water saturation that exists due to the unusually heavy rains, and that more damage is possible. But, he stressed repair crews are already working to fix the damage. Crews are also working in the area where the pavement has cracked, but repairs in this area will take longer because the damage is considerable. In addition, the problem near Loma Cová on the Inter American Highway remains to be fixed. A repair crew has been working on the problem since last Thursday to level the highway, but constant rains have caused the highway to sink again. Colamarco asked drivers to remain calm and to use precaution when driving in these areas.
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Heavy Rains Washing Out Roads and Highways

Cars & TransportationLa Critica A tremendous traffic jam occurred along the Pan American highway near the area of Loma Cobá when a section of the highway washed out. The Director of Public Works in the Western section said a repair crew is working on the stretch of highway affected and they hope to be finished this afternoon. Meanwhile, there was another section of highway that collapsed on the road leading to the Centennial bridge, where more than 20 meters of roadway have given way. (Editor's Comment: These heavy rains in the end of November are taking their toll on the roadways in Panama. Take extra precautions when driving, even along familiar roads and highways to avoid being surprised by a washed out section of roadway.)
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Road From Chiriqui to Bocas Reopened (Kinda)

Cars & Transportation By FLOR BOCHAREL for La Prensa - At noon of yesterday the two crews working to repair the road between Chiriqui and Bocas del Toro met their objective - to reopen the road. Only light vehicles and small trucks carrying humanitarian aid to Bocas del Toro and the Comarca will be allowed to pass, said the Minister of Public Works Benjamín Colamarco. “We will control the passage of the vehicles traffic police, technicians from the MOP and the SINAPROC, who will decide which vehicles have priority because the zone is very dangerous; also vehicles will not be allowed to drive at night," he said. The articulated trucks carrying bananas from Chiriquí to the port at Almirante will not be able to pass for many days. Many stores in Chiriquí Grande were running out of goods yesterday; there is no gas, meat, fruits, vegetables, and very little rice on the shelves. (Photo Credit: LA PRENSA/Carlos Lemos)
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Armored Car Knocks Down Utility Poles

Cars & Transportation By Ana Teresa Benjamín for La Prensa - A Brink's armored car with license plate number 212453 lost its brakes yesterday and crashed into a cement electrical post at the intersection of Calle 49 and Calle Uruguay in Marbella. According to preliminary information from the National Police no one was killed or injured in the accident, but the truck knocked down two electrical power poles and 25 customers were without electrical service for several hours. The armored car was not transporting money at the time of the accident, according to police.
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Another Fatal Traffic Accident on the Road to the Centennial Bridge

Cars & Transportation By Carlos A. Rodríguez for La Critica - A horrific traffic accident occurred yesterday morning near the Puente Camarón which crosses the railroad tracks on the highway leading to the Centennial Bridge. 32 year old pilot Octavio Lorenzo Noriega, who was driving a black Hyundai Tuscon with license plate 427866, was killed in the crash. The vehicle was totally destroyed. The victim received a severe trauma to the skull. The car ended up under the bridge where the driver ended up trapped - the vehicle flew through the air some 50 meters before hitting the base of the bridge. Octavio Noriega, who was a professional pilot, lived in the San Isidro section of San Miguelito. Firemen from the Pedro Miguel station responded. Noriega's wife and family members were notified and arrived at the scene, and minutes later police gave them the tragic news, that their loved one had died in this accident. It is presumed the driver fell asleep at the wheel but the accident is being investigated by authorities. The task of recovering the body was not easy for the firemen - it took them three and a half hours to extract the victim from the car. (Photo Credit: Jaime Cordero / EPASA)
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Gas Prices Will Drop Significantly On Saturday

Cars & Transportation By Raúl A. Bernal for La Prensa - The Panamanian government is expected to announce new reductions in fuel prices today, reductions that could range between 27 to 33 cents per gallon. According to sources related to the sector, 95 octane gasoline should drop 33 cents, 91 octane gasoline should drop about 30 cents, and diesel fuel should drop about 27 cents per gallon. If these reductions are implemented then 95 octane would cost $2.61 per gallon, the same price as improved diesel fuel, whereas 91 octane gasoline would cost $2.47 per gallon and light diesel would be at 42.58 per gallon, according to the most recent table of regulated fuel prices established by the national government. The last time fuel prices this low were observed in Panama was in February 2007, according to the statistical archives of the Ministry of Commerce and Industries. (more)
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Fuel Prices Dropping Again This Week

Cars & Transportation La Critica - The small gifts of the independence day celebrations apparently have not finished. Prices for 91 and 95 octane fuel as well as diesel will be further reduced as of next Friday, the 7th of November, when the Ministry of Commerce and Industry announces the new price limits. It is estimated that 95 octane could go down 33 cents per gallon, 91 octane could drop 40 cents, and diesel could drop 27 cents per gallon. At the moment gasoline is being sold in the capital city with maximum prices established at $2.94 for a gallon of 95 octane, $2.77 for 91 octane, and $2.88 for improved diesel and $2.85 for standard diesel.
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Three Lanes Open on Bridge of the Americas Returning to Panama City

Cars & Transportation La Prensa - The Operations Department of the Traffic Division of the National Police announced that, starting at 12:01 pm this afternoon, they will reopen three lanes of the Bridge of the Americas heading into Panama City from the interior of the country every half hour. They are trying to improve the flow of traffic back into the capital city for those who spent the long weekend celebrating Panama's Independence Day in the interior, according to an official press release. Authorities recommend that those who wish to travel to the interior should use the Centennial Bridge because the Bridge of Americas is under repair.
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Great Discussion on New Car Sales in Panama

Cars & Transportation

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Recently there's been a good conversation about purchasing a new car on the Americans in Panama Yahoo! email group: "I am currently in the States, and 'negotiating' for a new car purchase in Panama via the internet. As always, this is an extremely frustrating process, dealing with the monopolistic importers/dealers, as there really isn't true competition. Since Panama is a dollar economy, dependent on fluctuations in U.S. currency, and tied closely to the U.S.economy, one would think that new car sales are down over last year just as here. I know from talking with other expats that the used car business is really hurting in PC, but I am not able to find any information on the new car market there. Does anyone have any good, current information about the new car market in Panama? Your offline responses are greatly appreciated. Thank you." (more)

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One Heart For Every Life Lost

Cars & Transportation La Prensa - Eighteen blue hearts were painted yesterday on the Via Martin Sosa. With these symbols survivors and family members look to keep alive the memory of the tragedy of the bus fire that occurred two years ago, killing 18 and injuring another 25. This was one of the actions of the Movement of 23 October as part of the second anniversary activities to commemorate the accident. Changes and improvements to the public transportation system remain pending. (Photo Credit: LA PRENSA/Jorge Fernández)
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