Villavicencio is called "La Puerta al Llano", or "The Gateway to the Plains," a vast tropical grassland plain situated to the east of the Andes in Colombia. If it takes three to four hours to reach “La Puerta al Llano” from Bogotà, this is because the topography of the valley is extremely hilly, posing a major challenge to upgrading the road. But where there is a challenge, there is a solution.
The part of the project that transforms the connection between Bogotà and Llanos (“The Plains”) is located between Chirajara and Villavicencio, a section of 32.46 km (20.2 miles) that requires the construction of 6 tunnels and 21 bridges. This colossal challenge is already well underway.
Four of the six tunnels are built and the other two are in the excavation stage. The total length of the tunnels will be 10.3 km (6.4 miles). Regarding the bridges, the Pipiral viaduct (716 m) is already built, the Macalito bridge, which will be 1.02 km long is under construction. The construction of the Susumuco viaduct will begin in 2020. The Susumuco viaduct will be slightly longer than the Macalito bridge, at 1.4 km long. In addition, 16 km (9.9 miles) of surrounding roads will be built.
The project manager of the Consorcio Vial Andino shared his satisfaction with the project: “We are doing something impressive. We built a tunnel of almost two kilometers and a viaduct of 700 meters which were delivered and put into service more than 7 months in advance. We progressed with the excavation of the tunnels faster than planned, and this was made possible thanks to Holcim's contribution.”
The construction of just one of these projects would already be a fantastic achievement, but conducting them all at the same time on a tight schedule is an incredible performance that only Holcim teams can manage.