A emergency lane has been opened on the road linking the Pacific port of Buenaventura to the interior of Colombia, blocked by a landslide over the weekend.
It’s hoped the provisional lane will help return some mobility to the road, which is usually used to transport an estimated $4 million of cargo every day. However constant monitoring will be required as the recurrent heavy rainfall heightens the risk of further landslides.
Colombia’s Transport Minister German Cardona Gutierrez and Highway Police Director Rodolfo Palomino visited the site to assess the blockage of the La Linea road at Kilometer 29.
Inspector General Alejandro Ordoñez has announced he is investigating possible irregularities in the rainy season contingency plans aimed at preventing road collapses. Responding to the news, Gutierrez said he was willing to take responsibility for the national road crisis facing the country.
Alternate routes suggested by the transport minister have included building a second tunnel en route to the La Linea road at Kilometer 23, and using the road to Manizales as a detour. The latter plan was rejected by about 120 truckers who threatened to block other roads if a more immediate solution was not found. The truckers argued that the Manizales road has too many curves and is too narrow – prompting the government to open up the emergency lane.