According to The Latin American Tribune, the Colombian government has approved 17.2 trillion pesos (roughly $8 billion) in spending on eight projects that are part of the second wave of its Fourth Generation, or 4G, road-infrastructure program, the vice president’s office said in a statement.
“These corridors will become primary routes that will guarantee reduced travel times and (better) safety, mobility and connectivity among provinces,” Colombian Vice President German Vargas Lleras was quoted as saying.
The investment outlay for the eight projects, which will cover virtually all of Colombia’s regions, was approved in a meeting of the National Council on Economic and Social Policy, Thursday’s (November 13) statement added.
COMMENT: The highway projects will be executed under a public-private joint-venture in the provinces of Atlantico, Bolivar, Boyaca, Casanare, Cauca, Cundinamarca, Huila, Meta, Nariño, Putumayo, Santander, Sucre and Tolima, Vargas Lleras said.
He said he expected the bidding processes for the projects, which still require approval from the Finance Ministry, will be launched later this month.
Of the total amount approved, 10.2 trillion pesos (some $4.8 billion) will be allocated for executing the projects and the remaining 7 trillion pesos (some $3.3 billion) for operating and maintaining the roads.
The government this week signed the certificates of commencement for five projects that are part of the first wave of 4G concessions, and in February will submit the ten projects included in the third wave of the program to the Finance Ministry, the vice president said.
The Colombian government’s 4G road-concession program is an ambitious plan aimed at improving the competitiveness of the Andean nation’s highway network within the context of recently signed bilateral free-trade agreements.
The 43 highway projects the 4G program comprises have a total cost of 47.2 trillion pesos (some US$22 billion).