US$1.3 billion Chilean road tender delayed

The tender for a US$1.3 billion Chilean road project is being delayed.
Road Structures / June 19, 2024 1 minute 49 seconds Read
By MJ Woof
When the Chacao Bridge is complete, it will cut journey times for travellers in comparison with the current ferry service – image courtesy of © Pablo Hidalgo|

Bidding is now being delayed until 18th July 2024 for Chile’s US$1.3 billion Route 5 Santiago-Los Vilos road project. The bidding process has been delayed by the Ministry of Public Works, which is handling the project.

The fishing port of Los Vilos lies on Chile’s Pacific Coast to the north of the country’s capital, Santiago. Improving the 224km Highway 5 linking the two will reduce journey times and boost safety along the route.

Meanwhile, construction of the new bridge connecting Chiloé Island with the Chilean mainland is delayed. The project might now take until March 2028 to be completed. Building the $1 billion Chacao Bridge will replace the current ferry service and provide an important direct link to the island, boosting its economy and providing greater scope for the development of tourism. The region does suffer major seismic events so the bridge will be a suspension type and able to cope with massive shocks. It will also be designed to cope with wind speeds as high as 240km/h as well as the fierce sea currents through the Chacao Strait.

Construction work started on the bridge in 2017 and the work was previously intended to be complete by 2019, then 2020, then 2025 and then 2026. Also known as the Chiloé Bicentennial Bridge, the 2.75km structure will be the longest suspension bridge in Latin America when complete.

In addition, a new motorway link measuring 25km will be built close to capital Santiago. Costing $539 million, the road will be constructed by a Colombian contractor, ISA Intervial, with work due to commence in 2027. The new Concesion Orbital Sur Santiago route will link Route 78, 5 Sur and Route 79 to the western side of Santiago. The contract was awarded by Chile’s Ministry of Public Works.