Chilean bridge project achieves resolution

A resolution has been achieved for Chile’s Chiloe Island bridge project.
February 26, 2020 1 minute Read
By MJ Woof
The new bridge project will replace the existing ferry service to Chiloe Island – image courtesy © Pablo Hidalgo, Dreamstime.com

A resolution has been achieved over the important Chiloe Island bridge project in Chile. The construction project is being headed by the South Korean contractor Hyundai, which has now reached an agreement with the Chilean Government over the project.

Work was halted on the project due to a dispute over the increased cost of building the bridge. However this new agreement is being signed by both parties before being reviewed by Chile’s General Comptroller.

Hyundai has said that with its signing of the agreement, the consortium will renounce a number of rights with regard to the work. However, this move will help to resolve the issue between the consortium and the Chilean Government and mitigate losses incurred to date.

The Chacao Bridge project is important for Chile as it will provide a secure connection with Chiloe Island, helping boost the economy of the area and also develop tourism in the region as a whole. At present visitors to Chiloe Island either have to travel by air or use the ferry service. Spanning the Chacao Channel, the bridge will reduce travel times considerably.

The bridge itself is of considerable engineering merit as the location is extremely challenging. The bridge may well have to cope with potentially massive earthquake shocks. Chile’s coastal region has experienced some of the highest ever seismic forces ever recorded. As a result, the designers opted for a suspension bridge as it was considered that this would be able to flex in the event of an earthquake, unlike a more rigid cable-stayed type. The Chacao Channel also feature heavy seas at times, so the structure has been designed to cope with high winds and scour.