Vias del Nus Highway Now Opens Medellin to Northern Atlantic Ports
Colombia President Ivan Duque on December 4 officially inaugurated the long-awaited “Vias del Nus” highway connecting Medellin northward to Atlantic freight ports.
The new, 157.4-kilometers-long highway includes a four-lane, twin-tube tunnel that breaks through the historically problematic “La Quiebra” mountain, which until now has snagged road transport to and from Medellin and Colombia’s main northern ports.
Connecting to the “Magdalena 2” project at Alto de Dolores (Antioquia) and a brand-new bridge over the Magdalena River, the new, COP$1.2 trillion (US$302 million) “Vias del Nus” corridor slashes about two hours from travel times and avoids a twisting, complicated climb over “La Quiebra” at Cisneros, Antioquia.
The project “directly benefits about 3.3 million inhabitants of Medellín, Bello, Copacabana, Girardota, Barbosa, Donmatías, Santo Domingo, Santa Rosa de Osos, Cisneros, San Roque and Maceo,” while simultaneously improving crucial freight transport, as noted by Colombia’s Transport Ministry.
The project is so monumental that Organization of American States (OAS) Secretary-General Luis Almagro accompanied President Duque at the December 4 dedication ceremony.
“Today Colombia shows that large projects may take 100 years to ponder, but in this government we execute them on time, and we are going to give Antioquia the largest investment in fourth-generation highways, the largest investment in tertiary roads and the largest number of new kilometers” of new and upgraded highways, bridges and tunnels, President Duque bragged.
Agencia Nacional de Infraestructura (ANI) president Manuel Felipe Gutiérrez added that the Vias del Nus project also features 17 new pairs of bridges, notably including the curved, 220-meters-long “El Cariaño” bridge built in successive cantilevers — an especially challenging engineering feat.