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Latin America’s Longest Bridge to Be Built in Chile

Latin America’s Longest Bridge to Be Built in Chile

Posted by Juan Gavasa on February 24, 2014

The Chacao Channel Bridge will connect the mainland of Chile with the Island of Chiloé, where the channel has a width of 2.5 km. Overall the bridge will be 2,635 m long and 120 m high over the water of the channel, and will be held by three posts nearly 200 m high which separate the two spans of the suspension bridge.

It will bring big changes for the inhabitants of the area as well as for tourists, who want to visit the Island of Chiloé. Currently the only way to cross the channel is taking a ferry going from Quellón to Chaitén, but ferry services are not only expensive they are also provided only two to three times a week during summer.

Since 2005, when the administration of President Ricardo Lagos proposed constructing a bridge over the channel, planning was postponed many times, due to seismic risk studies or arising doubts on the founding of the $680 million project. Now it seems like all those problems are in the past and Michelle Bachelet, who will be sworn in on March 11, vowed to finally build the bridge in this period of legislation.

Last Wednesday, the Minister of Public Works confirmed that constructions will start on Feb. 15, 2015 after he met with the consortium made up of Brazil’s OAS, South Korean’s Hyundai, France’s Systra and Norway’s Aas-Jakobsen to inform the administration of the region Los Lagos about the state of planning. “Now, we are going to work on the final engineering project and all of the other aspects necessary to move this project forward,” stated Loreto Silva after the meeting.

According to the construction plans, the bridge is supposed to be finished in April 2020 and to be opened two months after that.

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