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Paraguay to improve urban infrastructure, public transportation with IDB assistance

Paraguay will improve its urban infrastructure and public transportation system with a $125 million credit line from the Inter-American Development Bank.

The program will contribute to the improvement of competitiveness, reactivation of urban economy, deployment of a transport system accessible for low income people. It will also improve mobility and access to basic services, healthcare, education, cultural activities and labor opportunities.

The credit line will finance repairs and upgrades of existing public spaces and the creation of new ones, along with the construction of pedestrian walkways and bicycle paths, new government offices and citizen service centers, and the restoration of historic buildings in Barrio San Jerónimo in downtown Asunción.

Planned work at Barrio San Jerónimo includes sewers and storm drain systems; river bank enhancements; road and sidewalk improvements; power, telephone, and data transmission lines installation; a community center and belvedere; facades restoration; a permanent marketplace facilities at Plaza Ferial. It also envisages restoration works of Parque Jaén, Plaza Rodriguez de Francia, and Plazoleta Isabel la Católica, and construction of Plaza de los Inmigrantes and Parque de la Solidaridad, totaling nine hectares of green open areas.

Plans for government office space and a citizen service center include construction of 54,000 square meters of office blocks, parking, and external space development, and restoration of the historic public buildings that will be vacated. This component will also boost infrastructure between buildings housing the three branches of government, including power, telephone, and data transmission lines, sewers and storm drain systems, and road enhancement.

The program will also contribute to establish an integrated and efficient mass transportation system for the metropolitan area, giving priority to high-capacity bus transit in dedicated lanes. The first stage will be built in the San Lorenzo–downtown Asunción corridor, along Avenida Eusebio Ayala, the main route with the largest volume of passengers.

Most of the program’s funds will help build Paraguay’s first metropolitan public transport corridor, including construction of 17 km of dedicated corridors and 100 km of feeder roads; two bus yards, an intermediate transfer station, and two terminals (one in Asunción and one in San Lorenzo). The IDB loan will also financed the construction of 27 stations in the trunk system and 100 stops on the feeder system; an integrated traffic lights network; and a technology platform for the control and management center.

The program will finance urban improvement works and landscaping; 20 km of bicycle paths and 3 km of pedestrian walkways; and an environment center to monitor air quality and noise along the corridor.

The program proposes to use the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and Greenroads norms for civil and road works, respectively, to promote technologies with lower energy consumption as well as lower carbon footprint.

The Bank’s lending is divided into a $62.4 million loan for a 30-year term with a six-year grace period and a LIBOR-based interest rate; a $15.6 million loan for a 40-year term, with a 40-year grace period and 0.25% interest, and a $47 million loan for a 25-year term, with a five-year grace period and a LIBOR-based interest rate. The Government of Paraguay is providing an additional $35 million in local counterpart funding.