Colombia's government, through Magdalena river regulator Cormagdalena, will invest 42bn pesos (US$22.6mn) in a project to improve navigability along the river, Claudia Martinez, an engineer at Cormagdalena's sustainable development and navigability department, told BNamericas.
The project involves carrying out improvement works along 14km of the 1,540km waterway, around the Barrancabermeja area in Santander department, Martinez said.
The initiative is the first phase of a plan to improve the navigability of a 100km stretch where sediments tend to accumulate, affecting fluvial transportation.
Cormagdalena will continue to carry out dredging works and remove sediments along the rest of the river, Martinez added.
Magdalena is Colombia's largest river and runs from the country's southwestern area to the Atlantic coast. The river basin has a 27.3Mha surface area, equivalent to 24% of the country's continental territory.
The basin incorporates 19 departments where 66% of the population lives and 86% of Colombia's GDP is generated.