Colombia moves forward with Ruta del Sol highway plans

The Colombian government signed contracts on Thursday for the construction of the first two sections of the long-planned Ruta del Sol highway, which will stretch 1000km and link Bogota to the Caribbean coast.

The first section, covering 78km between Villeta and El Koran, will be built by the Vial Helios Consortium, which is comprised of Colombian construction firms Grupos Solarte and Conconcreto de Colombia, and Argentinian company IECSA.

The second section, of 528km between Puerto Salgar and San Roque, will be built by the Ruta del Sol Concession, formed by Brazilian construction firm Norberto Odebrecht, Colombian holding company Corficolombiana, and Grupo Solarte.

Total investment is estimated at COP5.7 billion (US$2.9 million), according to Transport Minister Andres Uriel Gallego, who said “this is a very ambitious and complex project, especially when taking into account global market conditions at this time.”

He added that “the country cannot not afford to keep waiting for the construction of a road this important to its economic and social development, especially if the FTA is underway with the United States.”

The concession for the third section, the 465km stretch between San Roque San Roque and Ye de Cienaga y Valledupar, will be awarded in July.

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