First publishedon www.WorldHighways.com
In La Paz, Bolivia, work is underway to create a new four-lane highway between Oruro to the capital La Paz. The 210km stretch of road, high up in the Andes, is of great political importance with President Evo Morales determined to see completion before the next elections in 18 months’ time.
Working for the bitumen supplier to Chilean contractor Santa Fe, which has won two of the three construction contracts on the US$248 million project, Kraton
Polymers will be supplying the polymer for the bitumen, while specialist firm DenimoTech is supplying a 12 tonne PMB plant.
The polymer modified bitumen (PMB) for the road will be travelling from Argentina. But rather than taking an overland route via Bolivia’s notorious ‘Highway of Death’, said to be the most dangerous road in the world, the PMB will be travelling by sea to a port in Chile. “This project is all about the logistics,” said Bob Kluttz, Kraton’s paving technology expert.
The current two-lane road is in dire need of attention, with ruts as deep as 500mm in places. There have been several major bus crashed on this highway in recent years. “When you drive on the road, you have to keep within the ruts, or you risk your car turning over,” says Denimotech’s sales and marketing manager Lisa Hansen who has visited the site.
Bolivia has around 43,000 km (26,720 miles) of highways of which only 2,000 km (1,242 miles) are paved according to BolliviaBella.com