Fomilenio, the El Salvadorian chapter of the US Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), expects to award the tender to build the last stretch of the Longitudinal del Norte highway by end-September, a Fomilenio official told BNamericas.
"We expect works to begin in October," the official said.
Six firms participated in the tender to design and build stretch 3B, a 21.3km section that will connect Chalatenango bypass to the bridge over the Lempa river.
The lowest offer of US$20.1mn was submitted by a consortium comprised of local firms Cortein-Cortazar y Gutierrez-La Herrera. Costa Rican-based firm Constructora Santa Fe de Centroamerica made the highest offer of US$31.5mn. The other participating firms were: Mexican company Equipos de Construccion (US$20.5mn), the Central American branch of Spain's FCC Construccion (US$23.8mn), Costa Rican construction firm Meco (US$24.9mn) and the local unit of Italy's Astaldi (US$30.0mn).
A Fomilenio evaluating committee will now study the offers to award the tender by end-September.
The Longitudinal del Norte is a 178km highway that connects northern El Salvador with the rest of the country. The total project has an estimated cost of US$234mn.
MCC, a US government agency that provides aid to developing countries, approved a US$461mn donation to El Salvador in June 2006 to reduce poverty in the northern part of the country. The highway is being funded by part of that donation.