Colombian Vice President German Vargas Lleras last Friday announced that six consortia from five countries have submitted proposals to construct the Villavicencio-Yopal highway project prior to the close of the bidding process.
In response to the number of bidders, Lleras said, “When there is transparency in the bidding process and clearly defined rules, construction firms become encouraged to participate as they have been doing with 4G highway [projects]. Last Friday we received seven proposals for Sisga-El Secreto [project] and today, six more for Villavicencio-Yopal.”
He added, “All bids for infrastructure, housing and water, we do with transparency, and that motivates investors.”
The project calls for construction of a 48-kilometre divided highway and the upgrade and rehabilitation of an existing 212-kilometre roadway. Total estimated investment is COP$1.88 billion ($767,570; €704,906), with associated maintenance costs calculated at COP$791 million, bringing total project cost to COP$2.5 billion.
The six consortia to submit bids represent companies hailing from China, Spain, Mexico, Israel and Colombia. They include Concesionaria Vias del Desarrollo, Estructura Plural OHL Concesiones, Estructura Plural Arauca, Infraestructura Vial para Colombia, Estructura Plural SAC 4G, and an Estructura Plural Shikun & Binui-Grodco joint venture.
Lleras said the project is expected to create 9,400 direct jobs each year throughout the construction period. Transport Minister Natalia Abello added that once completed, the highway will benefit 810,000 residents from the cities of Villavicencio, Restrepo, Cumaral, Upia Canyon (Meta), Paratebuento (Cundinamarca), Villaneuva, Sabanalarga, Monterrey, Tauramena, Aguazul and Yopal (Casanare).
Agencia Nacional de Infraestructura Director Luis Fernando Andrade said that the project involves the expansion of 87 existing bridges, construction of 32 new bridges including a divided highway bridge between Amarillo and Cumaral, and improvement and expansion of the roadway between Cumaral and Aguazul as well as the divided highway between Aguazul and Yopal.
It is estimated that the completed roadway will save commuters up to 1.5 hours of travel time, according to a related ANI statement.
The project is one of nine that make up the second wave of 4G projects and the third most costly of the lot after the Santana-Mocoa-Neiva project and the Barrancabermeja-Bucaramanga project, valued at COP$3 billion and COP$2.7 billion, respectively. In total, the second wave of 4G projects will cover 1,643 kilometres of Colombian highway and have a total investment of COP$14.2 billion. To date, three second wave project tenders have closed and six remain open.
Villavicencio-Yopal contract award is scheduled for June 1.