Friday, January 11, 2013

Ruta del Sol to be constructed in Colombia

This news was just announced by Colombia Reports:
"Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos on Friday announced 30 bids worth $22.65 billion for construction of the ‘Ruta del Sol’ motorway.
Part of the Ruta del Sol might cross over the
Chicamocha Canyon, This shot was taken on
the current road from Bucaramanga to Bogotá.
The motorway is set to link the Caribbean coast with the Pacific via Bogota. The World Bank recently cited poor transportation as one of the main factors of economic uncompetitiveness in Colombia, something an efficient transnational route will dramatically improve.
President Santos also announced that the $22.65 billion will only be delivered "when the works are...complete.” This addendum comes after numerous reports of infrastructure project funds being embezzled while the works go unfinished.
In addition to hopes of faster-paced construction, Santos claimed that the 'Ruta del Sol' project will create 5,000 jobs.
According to the Economist, "the costs of Colombia's deficient infrastructure -- which came 79 of 139 countries' networks ranked by the World Economic Forum -- are massive." Luis Carlos Villegas, the head of the national industry group, likened the infrastructure deficit to a 10-15% tax. Government planners added that resolving it could raise annual GDP growth by a full percentage point."
My hope is that some of those 5,000 jobs will be developed as 'intern' positions for students to learn more about projects like this and also for those young people who have no training but want to move up the construction ladder to become supervisors, etc.
No news about when it will be started, or how long it will take to be completed, but this is exciting news for the country. Truckers, carrying products, will be able to travel more easily from the north (Atlantic) to the south (Pacific) providing more driving jobs as well. I suspect it will open up more of the country for tourism as well.

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