OAS to begin Beni-Cochabamba highway in May

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Brazilian construction firm OAS will begin building Bolivia's Villa Tunari-San Ignacio de Moxos highway, linking departments Beni and Cochabamba, in May this year, according to public works minister Walter Delgadillo.

Ground will be broken in around a month's time, following the senate's approval of a US$332mn loan from the Brazilian government to fund the project, Delgadillo was quoted as saying by state news agency ABI.

The 306km highway will cost US$415mn in total, with the remaining US$83mn coming from the Bolivian government.

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OAS will build the highway in three stretches, starting with the Villa Tunari-Isiboro Sécure stretch. Environmental studies for the other two stretches are still being finalized, the report said.

President Evo Morales and his Brazilian counterpart Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva signed an agreement to fund the highway in August 2009. However, the initiative dates back as far as 1826, Delgadillo said.