October 2, 2023
General News

Antioquia Awards Construction Contract for Crucial ‘Toyo Tunnel’ Project

The Antioquia departmental government announced October 14 that contracts have now been finalized for construction of the 9.75-kilometers-long “Toyo Tunnel” project — part of a crucial highway connection between Medellin and a new freight port being built on the Caribbean coast.

The “Antioquia to the Sea” consortium that won the “Toyo” contracts — worth COP$1.49 trillion (US$514 million) — includes Colombiana de Infraestructuras S.A.S., CASS Constructores & Cía. S.C.A., Carlos Alberto Solarte and Estyma Estudios y Manejos S.A. This consortium beat-out two other bidders on the project.

The tunnel project – estimated to take 10 years to complete — will result in the longest highway tunnel in Colombia, and one of the longest in South America, according to the government

“We are a company with extensive experience in this type of work, and have built many tunnels in the country,” said German Ángel Toro, general manager of Estyma Estudios y Manejos S.A. and legal representative for the consortium.

“We are strong companies. We believe that the government is going to have a great partner in building this project. We know its importance for the ‘Prosperity Highways,’” designed to help Antioquia and Medellin overcome lengthy transport delays that result from its currently outdated, restrictive highway infrastructure.

To fund the project, the department of Antioquia is putting-up COP$1.3 trillion (US$447 million), while the city of Medellin is contributing COP$520 billion (US$179 million) and the Colombian national government contributing COP$540 billion (US$185 million).

Antioquia’s Secretary of Infrastructure Rafael Nanclares was quoted as saying in a related El Colombiano report that travel times between Medellin and the new port in the Uraba region of Antioquia would be cut to four hours, down from six hours currently, thanks to the combined impact of the new “Prosperity Highways” and the new Toyo Tunnel.

Besides the Toyo Tunnel, related sections of “Prosperity Highways” being built between Medellin and Uraba will include several other tunnels, viaducts and bridges totaling 15 kilometers in length, resulting in a net reduction in travel distance of 23 kilometers, he said.

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