Monday, October 8, 2012
South America plans tunnels through the Andes to facilitate intermodal transport
The longest tunnels in the Americas are being planned by engineers to be bored straight through the Andes mountains. The tunnels would ease intermodal transport through South American, and billions of dollars worth of the continent's import and export goods, such as Chinese electronics, Chilean wine, Argentine food and Brazilian cars, would instantly become cheaper and more competitive.
The prospective $3.5 billion private railway, called the Aconcagua Bi-Oceanic Corridor, would take 10 years to build and would link train and trucking hubs on both sides with a 127-mile-long railroad, including twin 32-mile tunnels.
Once completed, it could save millions and lower shipping times across the country by half.
Currently, the sole major Andean pass in the southern half of South America is snowed in each winter, and hundreds of cargo trucks get stranded in frigid temperatures. Its Pacific ports are inaccessible to the Atlantic country of Brazil.
"There is a gigantic network of infrastructure on both sides of the mountain range with a bottleneck we must free up," said engineer Nicolas Posse, who is leading the project for Corporacion America.
For more of the Businessweek story: businessweek.com
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