Chile's public works minister (MOP) Hernan de Solminihac has officially relaunched work on the Ruta 160 highway in region VIII, which had been suspended following the earthquake that hit the area in late February.
The new route will require an investment of US$310mn and will consist of 85km of two-lane roads connecting Arauco and Concepcion provinces, MOP said in a release.
Work is being carried out by Spanish firm Acciona, which was awarded a 40-year concession to operate the highway in July 2008.
The project includes building nine bridges, 27 overpasses, 22 pedestrian bridges, 92 bus stops, lighting, a rainwater drainage network and the installation of emergency phones.
As well as reducing travel time in the area, the highway is expected to improve connectivity with Talcahuano port, the Carriel Sur airport and the Ruta 5 Sur national highway.
Slated for completion in 2013, Ruta 160 will be the first concessioned urban highway outside of capital Santiago.