Peru's government has set out an ambitious plan to offer US$830mn worth of road and highway projects for concession over the next two to three years, the minister of transport and communications, Verónica Zavala, was quoted as saying by local paper Gestión.
The government expects to find concessionaires for 4,500km of roads and highways. The initiative, which will include the Costa-Sierra highway project, will allow authorities to increase public investment in construction and maintenance of local and rural roads, Zavala said.
The Costa-Sierra highway, which will connect the northern and southern coasts, has become a government priority in terms of the concession processes.
The first of the highway stretches to be offered for concession - Buenos Aires-Canchaque in the Piura region - is expected to be opened for bids within the next three weeks, the minister said.
Other projects underway are the concession of the Red Vial 1, Red Vial 4 highways and stretches 1 and 5 of the Interoceánica highway.
President Alan García announced a 2bn-sol (US$620mn) investment in emergency works in Peru, of which 260mn soles are to be spent on road and highway infrastructure by the ministry of transport and communications (MTC).
These works will include maintenance of the Panamerican highway, rural road programs and investments in a number of highway stretches where construction is still to be concluded.
The government's outlined public investment in road and highway infrastructure for the rest of 2006 totals US$186mn.