Chile: USD 4.2 billion in transport investiments
President Bachelet presented a portfolio of upcoming plans for investment in the sector of transport totalling USD 4.2 billion. In some cases, these are projects already announced by the previous administration and, in others, new ones aimed at improving the transport networks of regional capitals. Of the total amount, approximately 1.4 million is earmarked for boosting the Santiago metro network by extending the lines already under construction (Line 3 and 6) and the creation of a new one (line 7), which will be the first to be built according to the concession system. Two inter-urban lines will join Santiago with Milipilla and Batuco. At Antofagasta, an important mining hub and capital of the Seconda region in the country’s north, a cable-line is planned with a capacity for 3,000 passengers an hour, along with other works aimed at improving circulation in the city, for a total investment of USD 375 million. Three cable-lines destroyed in Valparaiso in last April’s fire are to be rebuilt and others repaired. The metro line that connects Valparaiso with Vina del Mar (Merval) is also due for a boost with the purchase of new trains and subsequent integration into the urban transport system (trolleys and cable-lines). The government is also considering the possibility of building a cable-line. One of the other regional capitals up for new upgrade projects is Concepcion, in the country’s south. The government announced the extension of the current railway line to Coronel and its interconnection with several strategic points in the city (university, downtown area and main hospital) all the way to the bus station. Construction of a new three-lane railway bridge over the Bio Bio river is also under consideration.