Antioquia’s ‘Toyo’ Tunnel Wins Enviro Licenses, Construction to Start in 2018
Medellin Mayor Federico Gutierrez and Antioquia Governor Luis Perez jointly announced December 18 that the 9.8-kilometers-long “Toyo” tunnel project has now won required environmental licenses, paving the way for construction start-up in January 2018.
The “Toyo” tunnel project – estimated to cost COP$1.83 trillion (US$617 million) in 2012 pesos — would link the new “Mar 1” and “Mar 2” highway projects together, dramatically improving Medellin’s highway connections to current and future Atlantic freight ports.
Colombia’s environmental licensing agency (Autoridad Nacional de Licencias Ambientales, ANLA) had demanded several changes to the project prior to giving final approval, according to the joint press statement.
The Antioquia department is putting-up COP$780 billion (US$263 million), while the city of Medellin is adding COP$520 billion (US$175 million) and the “INVIAS” national highway agency adds another COP$530 billion (US$174 million) to the project.
The project also includes 18 smaller tunnels of 18 kilometers total, 30 bridges totaling 3 kilometers in length, and 16.9 kilometers of surface highway.
INVIAS has already contracted to the Antioquia government the first section (“Tramo I”) of the project, expected to last six years and cost COP$1.045 trillion (US$352 million) in 2015 pesos. This section includes road works between Santa Fe de Antioquia and Cañasgordas, passing underneath the municipality of Giraldo.
INVIAS aims to award the second section (“Tramo II”) in 2018, according to the joint press statement.
Mayor Gutiérrez added that the project not only will make Medellin industries more competitive, but also will contribute to development of the long-neglected Uraba región of Antioquia.
Environmental licenses include special protective measures for highway sections between Cañasgordas and Buenos Aires; between Pinguro and Las Habas; between Buenos Aires and El Madero; and between Manglar and Giraldo, according to the agency.
Licenses also include provisions for 17 other bridges not authorized earlier; permits for air pollutant emissions; and permits for proper disposal of extracted rocks and dirt.