Ferrovial has opened a new section of divided highway on the Ruta del Cacao, a 152-kilometer toll road between Bucaramanga and Barrancabermeja, in northern Colombia. With the inauguration of this 39-kilometer section, the project with a €702 million investment is more than 50% complete.
The new section, between La Virgen-La Lizama and La Fortuna-Puente La Paz, cuts 15 minutes off the trip for the 4,500 vehicles on average that take this route each day. The corridor is part of the Colombian government’s 4G toll road plan.
In 2015, a consortium leaded by Cintra was awarded a contract for 238 kilometers of highway, including 81 kilometers of newly-built road, to link the cities of Bucaramanga, Barrancabermeja and Yondó to the country’s main industrial centers, with a new Lisboa-Puente la Paz section to bypass geologically unstable areas.
The road includes the construction of two tunnels, La Sorda and La Paz, measuring 5.96 kilometers in total, to avoid the abrupt terrain of the La Paz hills, as well as 34 new bridges and viaducts. The road connects the departments of Antioquia and Santander to the Magdalena River (navigable by freight traffic) and is part of the communication corridor with Venezuela.
Cintra is in charge of developing this project, while design and construction is being undertaken by a joint venture headed by Ferrovial Construction. The Toll Roads division is in charge of operating and maintaining the road until at least 2040.
This project will improve traffic conditions in the region, strengthen opportunities for economic development, and boost employment and the local supply chain in eastern Colombia, where the bulk of the country’s oil production is located.