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Central Chile's Metropolitan region saw the biggest increase in traffic along its national network of concessioned highways over the last decade, according to information from BNamericas Data.
Not including capital Santiago's intra-urban highways, traffic in the Metropolitan region jumped 150% to 106mn vehicles in 2013 from 42.3mn in 2004.
Second in line is Biobío region VIII – home to Chile's second largest city, Concepción – which jumped 111%, followed by the central-southern grouped regions of O'Higgins VI and Maule VII (86%) and the southern regions of Araucanía IX, Los Ríos XIV and Los Lagos X (65%).
The country continues to look at concessions to develop its highway network. Last month the concessions board at Chile's public works ministry (MOP) declared of public interest the 369bn-peso (US$621mn) expansion of a 469km stretch of highway between the northern cities of Caldera and Antofagasta. The move sets in motion preparations for the bidding rules, which are estimated to be ready in 2015, with the bidding process taking place during the second half of 2016 and works beginning the following year.
Meanwhile local concessionaire Grupo Costanera presented a US$1.3bn highway proposal to MOP to connect Santiago to port city Valparaíso, with the aim of easing traffic congestion on existing route highway 68.
The project elements include the construction of 240km of highway and two tunnels. MOP is reportedly planning to launch a tender in 2017 for the concession.