Medellín Metro News 81
The departmental government of Antioquia announced April 24 that the US$5.5 billion, 2.4-gigawatt “Hidroituango” hydroelectric project finally has won the first two of four power-transmission construction permits from Colombia’s environmental licensing agency (ANLA).
Medellin’s world-famous “Metro” public transit system including electric rail, aerial tram, road tram, bus rapid transit (BRT) and free bicycles at Metro stations is breaking all-time records for public use – and now aims to help cut a worrisome growth in vehicle air pollution.
Medellin and the surrounding Antioquia department are likely to see 3.3% growth this year in gross domestic product (“PIB” in Spanish initials), according to the latest forecast by the Camara de Comercio de Medellin para Antioquia (CCM), the local chamber of commerce.
Colombia’s Agencia Nacional de Infraestructura (ANI) announced March 9 the start of construction on the “Vias del Nus” highway project linking Medellin suburbs northward to major Atlantic ports including Cartagena, Barranquilla and Santa Marta.
The COP$1.1 trillion (US$366 million) project -- also known as “Vinus”-- is financed privately, with Colombia’s Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional (FDN) having arranged loans from investor-partners including International Finance Corporation, Corporación Andina de Fomento (CAF), Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporatión and Colombia’s Ministerio de Hacienda y Crédito Público (see Medellin Herald on January 25, 2017).
Scheduled for completion by 2021, the “Vinus” highway system would run 157.4 kilometers and would enable freight and passenger vehicles to travel at speeds averaging 80 kilometers per hour -- slashing travel time between Medellín and Cartagena to 14 hours, down from 24 hours today, according to ANI.
When complete, “Vinus” will connect to Puerto Valdivia, linking with the “Rio Magdalena 2” and “Conexión Norte” highways, ANI noted.
“This project will push forward development and progress in Antioquia and in the entire country, given that it will be part of the highway connection to the Middle Magdalena region, the northeast of Antioquia and the new highway corridor to [the Atlantic ports of] Coveñas and Cartagena,” added ANI president Luis Fernando Andrade.
The first phase of construction involves rehabilitation of 35.6 kilometers of highway between Cisneros and Alto Dolores. Then -- over the next four years -- 24.3 kilometers of four-lane, divided highway between Pradera and Porcesito will be built. The "Vinus" project also includes new, twin tunnels (each of 4.1 kilometers) at the La Quiebra pass, plus a new link to Cisneros, plus 2.7 kilometers of a third lane of highway between San José del Nus and Alto Dolores.
By 2021, the “Vinus” project will form part of 97.5 kilometers of four-lane divided highway including the section between the Medellin suburb of Bello and Hatillo, ANI noted.
The Metropolitan Police for Medellin and the Valley of Aburrá announced February 27 that alias “Marulo” – one of four accused killers of two foreign visitors to Medellin last year -- has just voluntarily surrendered, following police investigations and citizen information.
Colombia’s civil aviation authority (Aeronautica Civil de Colombia, ACC) announced February 13 that Medellin’s international airport (Jose Maria Cordova, JMC) saw 2016 passenger counts jump 11.3% year-on-year, to 7.68 million.
Colombia’s National Police (Policia Nacional de Colombia, PNC) announced February 3 that they have captured the accused murderer of Japanese tourist Ryo Izaki.
Cormagdalena – the Colombian government agency overseeing a proposed dredging project that would dramatically improve freight movements on the Magdalena River – announced January 31 that project developer Navelena now faces a February 22 deadline to present a new financing scheme.
Medellin’s decades-long battle to overcome logistical isolation from world markets took two more steps this month as highway concessionaire Devimed partially cleared a huge landslide blocking the Medellin-Bogota highway -- and the crucial “Mar 2” project linking Medellin to Atlantic ports also finally got its financial close.