Chile gives environmental nod to US$119mn highway widening

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

The evaluation committee in Chile's metropolitan region approved the environmental impact assessment (EIA) of a US$119mn project to widen a section of the route 78 highway, an official from the environmental evaluation service (SEA) told BNamericas.

The project, presented by concessionaire Autopista del Sol, involves adding an additional lane to a 34.7km stretch connecting capital Santiago with the town of Talagante, in the same region, the EIA shows.

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The concessionaire said the works are part of a program pushed by public works ministry MOP following serious traffic jams on what is one of Santiago's main access routes during the Easter weekend.

Construction work does not have a defined starting date, but is expected to last 18 months.

The 133km route 78 connects Santiago with the port city of San Antonio in Valparaíso region. The concessionaire is owned by Spain's Abertis, although the contract will expire in March 2021 and is one of several concessions that the government will re-tender during 2019-22.