President Piñera presents $7 billion peso road infrastructure investment plan
The program involves the construction of almost 17,000 kilometers of highways and roads. In addition, the President called for an agreement with highway concessionaires to reduce changes to toll charges.
On Monday, President Sebastián Piñera presented the government's road infrastructure plan, which anticipates investments of over $7 billion pesos in tenders and renewal tenders of roads and highways, new third lanes, the expansion of the toll system without barriers and improved rural roads.
“These investments are urgent, they are necessary and we cannot continue to postpone them”, the President said at a ceremony in Santiago, accompanied by Public Works Minister Juan Andrés Fontaine.
President Piñera noted that the plan will include almost 17,000 kilometers of highways and roads “in order to extend, expand and renew our current road infrastructure in each and every one of the country's regions”.
The main goal is to expand and renew the current road infrastructure in all regions. Between tenders and renewal tenders, $6.21 billion will be invested in more than 3,100 km of roads and highways during the 2019-2023 period.
The plan includes tenders for the Chiloé-Route 5 longitudinal; the Villarrica highway; the South Orbital road; Route 5 between Caldera and Antofagasta and between Iquique and Antofagasta; the Entrelagos Border highway; the Pie de Monte highway; the Copiulemu - Hualqui - Coronel road connection; and Section 1 of the Costanera Central Highway.
“We want to reverse the current deficit in infrastructure investment”, the President said.
The renewal tenders will be made on Route 5 between Talca and Chillán, between Temuco and Río Bueno, between Santiago and Los Vilos, and between Collipulli and Temuco. In addition, the plan incorporates road access to the Arturo Merino Benítez Airport, Route 78 and the northern access to the city of Concepción.
In addition, third lanes are being proposed for Route 5 South between Peuco and the bypass to Rancagua; on Route 78 between Lo Errázuriz and the Talagante highway connector; and on Route 68 between the Costanera and Pudahuel highway connectors.
The plan also includes the improvement of 9,681 kilometers of rural roads, basic roads and 3,839 kilometers of roads in indigenous communities, paving 1,613 kilometers of roads by 2022, with a total investment of $1.12 billion.
The country also will expand the free-flow toll system without barriers.
President Piñera also pointed out that he has instructed the Public Works Minister to reach an agreement with the concessionaires of motorways and routes to reduce toll changes that affect users, “through an effort that will mean more investment and fewer readjustments of toll tariffs in order to give our motorists some relief”.