Chile has awarded China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) a build-concession contract to upgrade and operate a 195km toll highway - the Talca-Chillán section of Route 5.
in what is billed as Chile's biggest infrastructure project and the first public-private partnership scheme awarded to a Chinese company.
CRCC offered a total concession income of around US$1.1 billion in what Chile’s General Directorate of Public Works Concessions said is the first such contract awarded to a Chinese group. CRCC won over proposals from Sacyr Concesiones Chile and Consortium Cintra-Intervial.
The contract is for a variable but maximum term of 32 years.
Construction includes a 56km bypass and additional lanes to 30kms of existing road, 39km of bicycle lanes and 32 footbridges.
CRCC will also upgrade drainage, lighting and landscaping, improve connectivity to local roads and over time replace 18 existing cash toll plazas with 13 scanning gantries that read motorists’ tags for electronic payment.
The project was first tendered in October 2019 but the awarding has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Various government approvals are pending and work is not expected to start before the first half of 2025.