Partial Closure Of Zona Colonial Streets Sept. 5 and 6

(written in English y Español)

Program Tourism Development of Ciudad Colonial (PFTCC) and Empresa Distribuidora de Electricidad del Este (EDE Este) announce partial closure of streets in Ciudad Colonial to install two special transformers needed for the process of installing the new underground power cables.

Partial closure of streets Monday and Tuesday. / Cierre parcial de calles lunes y martes para soterrado.

The operation will start at 5.00 pm on Monday, September 5 and will end on Tuesday, September 6 at 1:00 pm.

The operation will be divided into two phases. First, it will be closed a stretch of the street Arzobispo Meriño between the streets and Emiliano Tejera Luperon, and a section of the Mercedes between Isabel the Catholic and Hostos. Upon completion of the work at this intersection, Isabel La Católica between Mercedes and Emiliano Tejera streets will close.

No parking is permitted on the streets Arzobispo Meriño, Mercedes (between Hostos and Las Damas) and Isabel La Católica (between Luperon and Tejera), during the operation, to avoid damage and scratches to vehicles parked at the entrance and exit trucks and cranes.

These works are part of the final stage of underground distribution lines of electricity referred to in the renovation project that is implementing the Tourism Ministry in Ciudad Colonial funds from the Inter-American Development Bank.

Note. I was told there will be no cuts in electricity as they are not connecting the electricity lines at this time.




El Programa de Fomento al Turismo de Ciudad Colonial (PFTCC) y la Empresa Distribuidora de Electricidad del Este (EDE Este) anunciaron el cierre parcial de las calles Arzobispo Meriño, Mercedes e Isabel La Católica en la Ciudad Colonial para ingresar dos de los transformadores especiales necesarios para el proceso de soterrado de cables de energía eléctrica.

En un comunicado, ambas entidades explican que el operativo iniciará a las 5.00 de la tarde del lunes 5 de septiembre y terminará el martes 06 de septiembre a la 1.00 p.m.

El operativo será dividido en dos fases. Primero, será cerrado un tramo de la calle Arzobispo Meriño comprendido entre las calles Emiliano Tejera y Luperón, y un tramo de la Mercedes entre Isabel La Católica y Hostos. Al terminar los trabajos en esta intersección, se procederá a cerrar la calle Isabel La Católica entre las calles Mercedes y Emiliano Tejera.

No será permitido el estacionamiento en las calles Arzobispo Meriño, Mercedes (entre Hostos y Las Damas) e Isabel la Católica (entre Luperón y Tejera), mientras dure el operativo, para evitar daños y ralladuras a los vehículos estacionados durante la entrada y salida de los camiones y las grúas.

Estos trabajos forman parte de la etapa final del proceso de soterrado de las líneas de distribución de energía eléctrica contemplados en el proyecto de renovación que viene ejecutando el Ministerio de Turismo en Ciudad Colonial con fondos del Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo.

Nota. No habrá cortes en la electricidad, ya que no se conectan las líneas de electricidad en este momento.

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Plaza Montecino In Disgrace

The monument dedicated to Fray Antón de Montecinos sits at the entrance of the Rio Ozama, Ciudad Colonial, Santo Domingo. It is one of the first things people see entering the port of Santo Domingo.

The statue of Fray Antón de Montecinos was designed by Mexican sculptor Antonio Castellanos is almost 15 feet (15 meters) tall. It was donated to the Dominican people by the Mexican government when Lopez Portillo was president of Mexico and was originally inaugurated in 1982.

The monument was completely restored in 2012. The interior was cleaned and had some nice original art work. The exterior was all cleaned and looked beautiful.

From a distance the monument looks beautiful. Close up is another story.

Entrance to the monument Montecino March 20, 2012
Entrance to the monument Montecino March 20, 2012

The grounds were nice and was a perfect place for dogs to run and play. It was a place to be proud of knowing that tourists and Dominicans both had a beautiful monument and nice quiet green Plaza to visit.

Grassy plaza great for dogs to play. July 3, 2013
Grassy plaza great for dogs to play. July 3, 2013

Then the people doing the renovation of the Colonial Zone decided to use the plaza to keep construction materials and dump the stone and other garbage that was removed from the streets for the Renovada Ciudad Colonial project.

Using Plaza Montecino for construction materials November 27, 2013
Using Plaza Montecino for construction materials November 27, 2013

And now the beautiful green plaza is a garbage dump. There are slimy water puddles that are perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes. There are paths between the piles of garbage. The perfect place for crimes to happen and people to hide.
Plaza Montecinos garbage dump July 31, 2016
Plaza Montecinos garbage dump July 31, 2016

Storing left over renovation supplies July 31, 2016
Storing left over renovation supplies July 31, 2016

Trash piled high July 31, 2016
Trash piled high July 31, 2016





The back side of Plaza Montecino was also a nice green spot.
Plaza Montecino December 2, 2012
Plaza Montecino December 2, 2012

Looking out at the grounds of the Plaza March 20, 2012
Looking out at the grounds of the Plaza March 20, 2012
Green Plaza November 24, 2013
Green Plaza November 24, 2013

Now this beautiful Plaza is pilled high with old bricks, stones, dirt and who knows what else in under all the trees and brush growing on the stone mounds.

Storage for millions of pesos in building supplies July 31, 2016
Storage for millions of pesos in building supplies July 31, 2016
Garbage dump July 31, 2016
Garbage dump July 31, 2016

trash piles July 31, 2016
trash piles July 31, 2016

The limestone and concrete structure, designed by architect Pedro Ramírez Vásquez, was being compromised by a tree growing on the side of the building. We contacted the people in charge of the monuments of the Colonial Zone and advised them about a tree that was growing out of the wall of the monument. The roots were starting to break the wall. I sent them this picture July 21, 2013.
Tree growing out of the wall of the structure July 21, 2013
Tree growing out of the wall of the structure July 21, 2013

Again a few years later (May 3, 2015) I advised them that the wall was cracking and before the integrity of the structure was compromised they really needed to remove that tree.

Wall cracking May 3, 2015
Wall cracking May 3, 2015

Today that tree is STILL growing covering the wall entirely. Am I the only person who cares?

The tree today July 31, 2016
The tree today July 31, 2016
The tree and broken wall  today July 31, 2016
The tree and broken wall today July 31, 2016

I am so sad and angry when I see what has happened to Plaza Montecino. All the money used to restore the monument in 2012 and 4 years later it is a disgrace. I heard storied that they are going to restore the monument. I have to ask Why? Isn’t it easier and less expensive to do maintenance after a place is restored instead of doing the restoration work and never paying attention to the project again? Four years after all the money was spent to restore and it is now a trash dump. A large tree breaking the wall that could have been cut away when it was just a seedling.

The monument has seen two murders happen inside that I know of, there probably have been more. It is dangerous to enter once again. There used to be guards now nothing. It is the perfect place for drugs and sex.

What kind of historical city are we? We renovate one part of the Colonial City and make it beautiful while destroying another part of our history. There are no words that can describe the sadness I feel when I see this happen.

Shame on you restoration workers for dishonoring our history and our city.

More history and information about the Monument and Plaza dedicated to Fray Antón de Montecinos. http://www.colonialzone-dr.com/people-montecino.html



Presidente Medina Checks the Colonial Zone Progress 2-1-2015

Presidente Danilo Medina visited the Colonial Zone Sunday Feburary 1, 2015 to check on the progress of the Renovation of the Colonial City. He was shown the progress of the work and also the future plans of the renovation project.

Below are some of the important parts of the article I read and my translations. There is also a link to the original article below.

Presidente Danilo Medina visits the Colonial Zone to check on the work and future plans. Feb. 1, 2015
Presidente Danilo Medina visits the Colonial Zone to check on the work and future plans. Feb. 1, 2015

“¡Buenos días! Presidente Danilo Medina visita Zona Colonial; conoce avances a partir del proceso de remozamiento.”

Good Morning! President Danilo Medina visits Colonial Zone; to know the advances from the process of renovation.

“El presidente Danilo Medina dispuso este domingo la agilización de la remodelación, adecuación y rescate del Centro Histórico de la Capital, con la incorporación de nuevas brigadas del Ministerio de Obras Públicas y la inyección de nuevos recursos, para que este año esos trabajos estén terminados.”

President Danilo Medina decided Sunday to streamline the remodeling, adaptation and rescue of the historic center of the capital, with the addition of new brigades of the Ministry of Public Works and the injection of new resources, so this year this work will be finished.

“El jefe del Estado dispuso también la terminación de los trabajos de rescate de las ruinas del monasterio de San Francisco y que la Distribuidora de Energía del Este (EDEESTE) proceda al soterramiento del cableado eléctrico de la Zona Colonial.”

The president also ordered the termination of the work to save the
Ruins of the Monastery of San Francisco and the Distribution of Energy (EDEESTE) applicable to underground electrical wiring of the Colonial Zone.

“Ordenó que el ministerio de Cultura amplíe el horario de los museos de la zona y que el Cuerpo de Seguridad Turística (CESTUR) disponga de más hombres y vehículos para reforzar la seguridad en toda el área turística. Los permisos para construir nuevas infraestructuras turísticas en la Zona Colonial deberán ser agilizados. Esa tarea corresponde a la Dirección de Planeamiento Urbano del Ayuntamiento del Distrito Nacional y al Ministerio de Obras Públicas.”

He ordered the Ministry of Culture to extend the hours of area museums and Tourism Security Corps (CESTUR) to have more men and vehicles to strengthen security across the tourist area. Permits to build new tourism infrastructure in the Colonial Zone must be expedited. That task falls to the Department of Urban Planning of the National District City Council and the Ministry of Public Works.

The article continued to explain the meeting and the plans for the Colonial Zone. It concluded with:

“A raíz del inicio de los trabajos, el presidente de la República emitió el decreto número 29-13 que declaró de alto interés nacional y social los trabajos para el fomento del turismo en la Ciudad Colonial. Esos trabajos han estado bajo la dirección del Ministerio de Turismo.”

When the work started (the work officially began on August 2, 2013), the President issued Decree No. 29-13 declaring high national and social interest work for the promotion of tourism in the Colonial City. These works have been under the direction of the Ministry of Tourism.

“El remozamiento de la zona tiene el objetivo central de rescatar el espacio público y darle prioridad al peatón. Devolverle la ciudad a sus habitantes.”

The renovation of the area is the central objective of rescuing the public space and give priority to pedestrians. They want to restore the city to its inhabitants.

The video of the visit “Riqueza colonial dominicana revalorizada. Danilo Medina supervisa trabajos.”

The text is taken from the article on the Presidencia República Dominicana web site. I translated some of the article. To read the entire article visit http://presidencia.gob.do/noticias/riqueza-colonial-dominicana-revalorizada-danilo-medina-supervisa-trabajos

To see all the pictures taken when the Presidente visited check the flickr page here “Presidente visita Zona Colonial”

Some text is taken from the Facebook page Presidencia de la República Dominicana.

Renovada Ciudad Colonial 1-11-2015 Update

The work continues on the Tu Nueva Ciudad Colonial remodeling project in the Colonial Zone. A few of the roads are still dug up but for the most part they are putting the finishing touches on the streets.

One of my favorite things is what i have been asking for for many many years Speed Bumps or what they call here in Dominican Republic Policía Acostado (Police Laying Down). My opinion, this will do so much for improving the traffic flow in these streets filled with visitors, both tourists and Dominicans, to the Colonial City.

Renovada Ciudad Colonial Policía Acostado and Road Signs
Renovada Ciudad Colonial Policía Acostado and Road Signs

The newest detours map of the “Etapa Actual de Obras Enero II”. Some of the streets are closed for a day or 2 while they install the new speed bumps but for the most part this map is correct for now.

Calles en Obras II, Ciudad Colonial  - 1-2015
Calles en Obras II, Ciudad Colonial – 1-2015

Good things. The detour through Parque Rosado is no longer being used. Isabel la Católica is partially open. Padre Billini, which was open to traffic, has been temporarily closed due to the work placing the Policía Acostado in their places. They are adding many nice new road signs with the speed limit, pedestrian crossing, speed bump alert and even stop signs. And the work continues…

Renovation of Colonial Zone Continues – August 2014

The Renovation of the Colonial Zone continues.

Many of the roads that have been under construction are nearing completion.

Renovada Ciudad Colonial. Calle Arzobispo Meriño nears completion.
Renovada Ciudad Colonial. Calle Arzobispo Meriño nears completion.

The new map with road closings and detours is posted.

Roads under construction August 2014 - Calles en Obras Agosto 2014
Roads under construction August 2014 – Calles en Obras Agosto 2014

The big news is the new route that goes from Calle las Damas and continues through in front of the pedestrian only road in front of Casas Reales and the Plaza del Reloj del Sol (Sundial Plaza).

Desvío / Detour Calle las Damas, Casas Reales and the Plaza del Reloj del Sol
Desvío / Detour Calle las Damas, Casas Reales and the Plaza del Reloj del Sol

The parking for Banreservas is accessible from Arzobispo Meriño at Calle Las Mercedes.

Both companies are working hard to finish the Renovada Ciudad Colonial project as fast as possible. The problem is they keep running into many unforeseen obstacles. Unmarked underground electric lines. Historical monuments buried under the streets. Old water and other types of lines. Then of course there are the rains.

Calle Isabel la Catolica flooded by Tormenta Bertha.
Calle Isabel la Catolica flooded by Tormenta Bertha.

They are asking for our patience while the construction continues. This is not easy for those of us having to live with the inconveniences daily for more than 1 year now. No water at times, no electricity at times, dirt, dust, noise and limited access for vehicles and little to no parking.

Any questions or comments please call 809.682.2919 or write info_ucp@sectur.gov.do / Cualquier pregunta o comentario llamar al 809.682.2919 o escribir al correo electrónico info_ucp@sectur.gov.do.