Morristown, N.J. — Panama’s Cinta Costera 3 (“Coastal Beltway” in English) has won this year’s Global Best Project in Roads and Highways award in Engineering News-Record’s (ENR) third annual competition. Louis Berger provided design, technical advice and quality control services for the $345 million project that has helped transform the city by improving mobility along this major axis.

“We are honored to have played a role in helping Panama City complete one of the region’s major urban infrastructure initiatives,” said Sofia Berger, Louis Berger vice president and managing director for Latin America and the Caribbean. “Louis Berger undertook the challenge of creating an alternative access to Panama City from the Bridge of the Americas to stimulate coastal development with green spaces and improving access to amenities in the neighborhoods of San Felipe, Santa Ana and El Chorrillo.”

An important component of Panama’s new urban road network, the Cinta Costera project consists of two parts. The first part is a marine viaduct that bypasses the Old Town at a variable distance between 200 and 400 meters (656 and 1312 feet) from the Old Town’s walls and buildings. This section was built to reduce congestion in downtown Panama City and avoid having traffic heading west pass through the Old Town by providing an express route to the city’s west end. The second part is a six-lane avenue with spacious parking and public areas, pedestrian and bicycle lanes, and sport facilities that include football and basketball courts, among others. Additional features of the project include a series of roundabouts and traffic-friendly improvements to the multi-lane road leading to Casco Viejo and a new bridge connecting to Calzada de Amador.

For this project, Louis Berger completed the engineering design for a new 1.8 kilometer (1.1 miles) urban avenue on 25 hectares (61 acres) of reclaimed land. As a result, the El Chorrillo, Santa Ana and San Felipe neighborhoods will gain more direct access to green spaces, sport areas, parks and pedestrian walkways.

Louis Berger also developed the final design for the area around the Seafood Market, solving the complicated intersection of Balboa Avenue to the Cinta Costera and the Cinta Costera road junction with the marine viaduct surrounding the Old Town.

Further, Louis Berger performed design quality control and provided technical advice to the contractor for the construction of the new marine viaduct, which spans 2.8 kilometers (1.7 miles) and includes three lanes in each direction, a pedestrian walkway and a bike path, allowing residents and visitors to appreciate Old Town from a new perspective.

ENR’s Global Best Projects competition honors construction and design excellence during the past year. The 2015 winners were chosen by an independent jury of industry professionals with extensive global experience. Criteria included safety, innovation, contribution to the global community, aesthetic quality and workmanship, with special emphasis on the globally diversity of the project team. All of the winning projects and judges will be spotlighted at the ENR Global Construction Summit on Sept. 10, 2015 at the Grand Hyatt in New York City.