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Chile plans to launch a tender for the construction of the last stretch of Santiago's Américo Vespucio Oriente (AVO) expressway in the first quarter of 2016, said an official at BNamericas 5th South America Infrastructure Summit.
Technical and economic proposals for the US$726mn, 4km expressway will be due in the third quarter of 2016. It is scheduled to be awarded in early 2017.
Public works ministry MOP has recently decided to build the expressway underground, in line with demands from residents and disregarding initial plans to do so at ground level.
MOP has not modified its initial budget, although underground construction could increase costs.
"We no longer see the project as a mere solution to road problems, but as a citywide project," MOP concessions advisor Cristina Holuigue said at the summit in Bogotá.
Early this year, MOP awarded the construction of a US$1.05bn, 9.3km stretch of Américo Vespucio Oriente to OHL Concesiones Chile and Sacyr Chile. It will comprise two, three-lane underground levels, one for each direction. Road capacity will increase to 8,000 vehicles an hour, from the current 3,000, in a bid to mitigate increasing congestion in the city.