A series of important road projects have been delivered successfully under the country’s current national transport development programme. These new links include both tunnel and bridge construction projects.
One of the most recent and most notable projects completed has been for the construction of the Tunel de la Linea. This 8.6km connection is the longest tunnel in Latin America and forms a key stretch of the 47km Via Cruce de la Cordillera Central route, that will link Calarca with Cajamarca. The tunnel faced many challenges during its construction, including geological and financial issues. These pushed back the date of its opening until recently.
But Spanish firm Comsa Industrial has now completed the last portion of work on the tunnel that had remained, for the electro-mechanical and ITS systems. Comsa’s contract included the design, supply, installation and commissioning of systems for fire detection, radio communications, lighting and ventilation.
Other important projects that have been carried out include the 12km Yati-La Bodega connection, the Hisgaura bridge, the Gramalote road in Norte de Santander, upgrading the Monitos-San Bernardo stretch of the Viento-Lorica road and the La Cruz bridge in Risaralda.
The cable-stayed Hisgaura Bridge however has been controversial due to the uneven surface of the central section left by the builder. The 653m bridge has the longest central span of any bridge in South America, at 400m, while its deck is some 143m above the deepest point of the gorge underneath. During the final construction stages issues caused the central stretch of the deck to become uneven, resulting in criticism and requiring a structural analysis of the bridge to ensure its safety. The inspection work concluded that the while the deck is uneven, it remains safe.