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Chile launches bid process for $740 mn suspension bridge

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Santiago, May 23 (EFE).- Chile's government has launched a bid process for the construction of a 2,600-meter (8,525-foot) suspension bridge linking Chiloe Island to the mainland, a project with an investment limit of $740 million.

Public Works Minister Loreto Silva said the eight consortiums vying for the project in southern Chile have until October to submit their technical and design proposals for the bridge, which would span the Chacao Channel and be the longest of its type in Latin America.

Chinese-, South Korean- and Chilean-led consortiums, one of which includes Spain's Sacyr Vallehermoso in partnership with Samsung, are in the running for the project.

The winning consortium will be selected in the first quarter of 2014, while construction is scheduled to begin in 2015 and the bridge is projected to be operational by 2019.

In 2005, then-Chilean President Ricardo Lagos proposed the project and put its cost at $650 million, but the administration of his successor, Michelle Bachelet, scrapped it a year later after cost estimates soared to $970 million.

On Tuesday, President Sebastian Piñera said the Controller's Office had given the green light for the initiative.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/agencia-efe/130523/chile-launches-bid-process-740-mn-suspension-bridge