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Pacifico 1 Highway Landslide (July 2019 Image) Pacifico 1 Highway Landslide (July 2019 Image) Source: Covipacifico

May 2019 Landslide on Medellin-Bolombolo Highway Seen Cleared by March 2020: ANI

Infrastructure Written by  Wednesday, 27 November 2019 09:48 font size decrease font size increase font size 0
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Colombia’s national infrastructure agency (Agencia Nacional de Infraestructura, ANI) announced November 26 that a May 28, 2019 landslide blocking the Medellin-Bolombolo highway near Amaga should be cleared by around March 2020.

The landslide wiped-out an under-construction section of the “Pacifico 1” four-lane divided highway as well as a stretch of the existing highway below it.

On a related front, ANI simultaneously announced that it signed a new deal with Instituto para el Desarrollo de Antioquia (IDEA, the Antioquian departmental development agency) to free-up about COP$11 billion (US$3.1 million) funding for upgrades to the current alternative route (Venecia-Bolombolo) -- while awaiting the reopening of the Amaga-Bolombolo segment of the Medellin-Bolombolo highway.

What’s more, ANI announced it’s helping to fund design work for a new bridge parallel to the existing bridge over the Cauca River at Bolombolo. The existing bridge has weakened in recent years -- and as a result cannot handle heavy truck loads as in prior years.

“By signing this agreement, the improvement of sections of the Venecia-Bolombolo highway will be advanced,” along with “rehabilitation of road corridors between Camilo C-El Cinco-Fredonia and between El Cinco-Venecia,” according to ANI.

“Likewise, resources will be allocated for the designs of the new Bolombolo bridge over the Cauca River, parallel to the existing one -- which will facilitate the transit of cargo vehicles. These investments will be executed by IDEA and will begin in the next few days,” according to ANI.

Meanwhile, the “Covipacifico” construction consortium responsible for building the “Pacifico 1” highway between Medellin and Bolombolo announced that it’s making steady progress in removing the landslide and installing new terraces, trenches, filters and canals to avoid future landslides.

“To date, the mitigation and adaptation plan has made significant progress,” according to Covipacifico.

“In the lower part of the landslide, work is also carried out on the adaptation of an industrial road, whose advances are already noticeable and allow the controlled passage of machinery required for the work. Once the security conditions improve, provisional restoration of [the existing highway] with restricted passage for traffic is projected.”

“To date we have developed work without major setbacks despite the rains that have occurred in the area during the last month,” added Covipacifico general manager Mauricio Millán Drews. “These advances allow us to be moderately optimistic with the estimated term of six months [that is, starting from October 2019]. We will continue working to guarantee the minimum security conditions until the recovery of provisional access,” he said.

Meanwhile, Colombia’s Transportation Minister Ángela María Orozco announced at a November 25 conference in Medellin that five “fourth generation” (4G) highway projects in Antioquia have now reached at least 40% completion.

“Among the projects, the ‘Vías del Nus’ corridor stands out, whose objective is to connect Medellín directly with the Port of Cartagena, as well as the north of the country and the northeast of Antioquia with the concession of Ruta del Sol, through Puerto Berrío,” according to ANI. “This concession will allow transporting products destined for export more easily and economically. This route records an advance of 48.91%."

As for the “Mar 1” highway connecting Medellin westward to Santa Fe de Antioquia, this project has already achieved a COP$2.23 trillion (US$638 million) financial close, while the “Mar 2” project (connecting with Mar 1) to new Atlantic ports likewise has won COP$652 billion (US$186 million) financial close, Orozco noted.

As for the “Pacifico 2” project connecting Bolombolo southward alongside the Cauca River to La Pintada, Antioquia, this project is due for completion by October 2020, she added.

Read 101 times Last modified on Wednesday, 27 November 2019 10:07

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Medellin Herald is a locally produced, English-language news and advisory service uniquely focused upon a more-mature audience of visitors, investors, conference and trade-show attendees, property buyers, expats, retirees, volunteers and nature lovers.

U.S. native Roberto Peckham, who founded Medellin Herald in 2015, has been residing in metro Medellin since 2005 and has traveled regularly and extensively throughout Colombia since 1981.

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