Chile's public works ministry (MOP) and the government of south-central region VII have signed an agreement to finance a 115bn-peso (US$239mn) program for roads, highways and bridges.
MOP will provide 59% of the funds, with the regional government covering the remaining 41%, the ministry said in a release.
The initiative involves construction of a new bridge over the Maule river between the towns of San Clemente and Colbún, improvements on highway Ruta K-40 and Ruta J-70I and construction of the southern Talca beltway.
Other projects include the San Clemente and Teno bypasses, the northern Linares beltway and southern access to the Llico bridge, as well as improvements to existing roadways in the region.
The ministry will also complete engineering designs for a coastal highway in the north of the region and a prefeasibility study for a southern coastal highway.
LA HUERTA BRIDGE
MOP minister Hernán de Solminihac and regional governor Rodrigo Galilea opened the La Huerta bridge on the border of Talca and Curicó provinces.
The project cost some 6.52bn pesos and aims to improve connectivity between highway Ruta 5 and the northern coast of the region.
The bridge will reduce travel time between regional capital Talca and the town of Hualañé from two hours to 45 minutes, the release said.