CEMEX Brings Solution for Rural Roads to Panama - CEMEX Brings Solution for Rural Roads to Panama
CEMEX Brings Solution for Rural Roads to Panama
November 26, 2015
The small town of Parita, in Panama´s Herrera province, has a rich colonial heritage and a population of almost 9,000 inhabitants, among them Miguel Villarreal, a farmer who grew up in the region and has witnessed his town´s development.
“We say it’s easier than before...but the way we produce food is not easier than before. Even if we have machines, even if we have whatever, if the access roads aren´t functional, we can´t walk,” he affirms.
As part of our efforts to provide innovative solutions for all types of infrastructure needs, at CEMEX we decided to bring Unicapa to Panama. Unicapa is a special pavement application solution for rural and difficult access roads that we have already launched successfully in countries like Costa Rica and Nicaragua.
Unicapa is an excellent solution for roads that are difficult to access or that ready-mix concrete trucks can’t easily reach. It involves placing cement bags in a chessboard pattern on a rural road, mixing the cement with the road’s existing material to create a single 17-25 cm layer of pavement. The initial pilot project for Unicapa in Panama was the rehabilitation of the Camino El Limón, a road that Villarreal says he has known “since I was born.” For El Limón’s 200 meters, CEMEX used 1,000 bags of cement.
According to Luis Miguel Martín, Infrastructure and Housing Manager for CEMEX in Panama, this road was chosen because it “serves various farms in the region and could potentially serve an entire community. [However] in the winter season they can’t, they’re not able to do so, because the road is not in a trafficable condition.” With our technology, he explains, the goal is to keep this road trafficable year-round.
A robust infrastructure that supports mobility and independence is indispensable for the sustainable development of communities because it allows for economic exchange and access to different social services. This solution, adapted to local needs in coordination with our CEMEX Research Group in Switzerland and our Center for Cement and Concrete Technology in Mexico, provides a more accessible and affordable option that could maintain rural roads passable for more than five years.
The potential benefits for rural communities are significant, and for his part, Villarreal says he is pleased. “I think it’s been a very good help for us, the farmers. I never thought it would turn out the way it did. I trust that it will greatly help our economy.”
CEMEX is a global building materials company that provides high quality products and reliable service to customers and communities in more than 50 countries. CEMEX has a rich history of improving the well-being of those it serves through innovative building solutions, efficiency advancements, and efforts to promote a sustainable future.
From left to right: Eric Corro, Panama’s National Association of Ranchers; Luis Miguel Martín, CEMEX Panama Infrastructure and Housing Manager; Kora Aguirre, CEMEX Panama Head of New Business Development; Miguel Villarreal, Farmer; Francisco Rodríguez, Veterinarian
After removing a layer of the ground material, bags of cement are laid out in a chessboard-like pattern.