Ruta del Cacao. Colombia: voussoirs of the Río Sucío viaduct completed after work resumed


cacao route colombia

The Río Sucio viaduct, which is part of Functional Unit 7 of the Bucaramanga-Barrancabermeja-Yondó project, (Ruta del Cacao), reached the culmination of the closing voussoirs that were carried out using successive cantilever carriages.

This is the largest viaduct in the project and shows progress of 84%.  As such, the 480 meters corresponding to the successive cantilevers of the Río Sucio bridge are finished, and the remaining 180 meters are currently under construction. 

The Río Sucío viaduct is 660 meters long with 120-meter spans, the highest pier stands at 45 meters, and 2.5 million tons of passive steel, 160,000 kg of pre-stressed steel, and 7,900 m3 of concrete have been used for its construction. 

Work on the viaduct began in February 2018. It created 400 jobs and is estimated to be delivered by the end of 2020.  It is located in the rural area of the municipality of Lebrija, and it will connect the two new tunnels: La Paz, 3.2 kilometers long, and La Sorda, 2.2 kilometers long, which will allow the corridor to go into operation. 

Construction on the Bucaramanga–Barrancabermeja corridor restarted on April 27, complying with all health and safety protocols established due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The return to positions in the project areas where construction is being carried out took place gradually after an intense process of developing protocols approved by the National Infrastructure Agency (Agencia Nacional de Infraestructura) and the ARL. Likewise, informational meetings were held and knowledge was shared with the Santander Government, municipal administrations, and the community action boards for the territories in areas around the project. Currently, the project has 2,000 workers, and all work fronts are active. 

In this regard, personnel entry is monitored on a daily basis through strict controls at the access points to work areas, where compliance with the biosafety protocol is verified, temperatures are taken, and vehicular disinfection is carried out. Continual use of masks, protective glasses, and gloves is mandatory. Talks are given to the construction personnel daily prior to the start of activities, reiterating measures for protection, as well as health and safety. 

About the project 

The Bucaramanga – Barrancabermeja – Yondó project is currently 57% complete, and completion is projected for 2022.  

Construction is being carried out by the Ferrocol Santander Consortium, 70% of which is Ferrovial Construction and 30% Constructora Colpatria. 

Recently, 39 kilometers of the second road between Bucaramanga and Barrancabermeja was put into operation, which resulted in shorter travel times, better connections, and the generation of economic development and employment for the entire region. 

On June 30, the Resolution on the Environmental License Modification for functional units UF 8 and UF 9 was finalized, as well, so construction is expected to begin in August. 


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