- The seven-year project included the duplication of 30.5 km of toll road with the construction of 39 bridges and viaducts, four tunnels, two pedestrian footbridges and 12 monitored fauna passages.
- The company has invested more than 300 million euros in the infrastructure.
- In addition, in Chile, the new Maipo Bridge was inaugurated last week.
Arteris, Abertis' subsidiary in Brazil, has inaugurated the final section of the project to double the capacity stretch of the Régis Bittencourt toll road in the Serra do Cafezal, the main communication axis between the country's southern and southeastern regions and a strategic corridor for the transportation of freight in the Mercosur trading region. This brings to an end an extensive seven-year project to improve the toll road at a cost of 1,300Mn reais (around €330Mn).
The inauguration ceremony, which took place in Miracatu (São Paulo), was attended by the Minister of Transport, Ports and Civil Aviation of Brazil, Maurício Quintella Lessa; the Minister Head of the General Secretariat of Presidency, Wellington Moreira Franco; the General Director of the Agencia Nacional de Transportes Terrestres, Jorge Bastos; and the CEO of Arteris, David Diaz.
The project involved doubling the capacity of a 30.5-kilometre stretch of the toll road and the construction of new bridges and viaducts, four tunnels, two pedestrian footbridges and 12 monitored fauna passages. This work was carried out with the minimum impact on traffic on a toll road which carries an average of 127,000 vehicles per day (25,000 vehicles per day on the Serra do Cafezal stretch).
For David Díaz, Arteris’ CEO, “the completion of these emblematic works is an example of the capacity of Arteris to carry out high-quality, innovative and state-of-the-art works for the development of the country’s infrastructure. It is the result of the commitment of our professionals and the public-private partnership efforts with the Administration and other institutions”.
Technology for road safety
The project, which involved the application of trailblazing civil engineering solutions, has improved service levels and addressed more than 80 critical points identified by the Strategic Accident Reduction Group (GERAR), as well as the adoption of new technologies and practices such as the use of more reflective paint and more adhesive tarmac, preventative signalling, concrete barriers, pedestrian footbridges and flyover direction changes.
Highlights include construction of the tunnels to the highest international quality standards. For instance, an emergency tunnel more than 210 metres in length has been created in one of the tunnels as an escape route for pedestrians in the event of accidents or serious unforeseen events. In addition, all the tunnels have a modern automation and safety system, a large number of ventilation devices, specific lighting and fire prevention and mitigation systems including the drainage of flammable liquids.
Throughout the project Arteris worked in partnership with the various audit and control bodies such as regulatory agencies, the federal highways police and other institutions on road safety education and awareness raising campaigns aimed at pedestrians, car and lorry drivers, motorcyclists and cyclists.
The work was also carried out with respect for the environment, prioritising engineering solutions which caused the least damage to the region's flora, the passage of fauna and the tributaries of rivers.
Abertis in Brazil
Abertis has been present in Brazil via its subsidiary Arteris since 2012.
The company has 10 toll road concessions in Brazil stretching 3,700 kilometres in total. They are located in the states of São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, Santa Catarina and Paraná, with five concessions granted by the state of São Paulo - Autovias, Centrovias, Intervias, Vianorte y Via Paulista- and five - Autopista Fernão Dias, Autopista Regis Bittencourt, Autopista Litoral Sul, Autopista Planalto Sul and Autopista Fluminense - forming part of the federal road network.
New Maipo Bridge in Chile
In addition, VíasChile, Abertis’ subsidiary in the country, inaugurated last week the new Maipo Bridge in Autopista Central, which has led to improved connectivity at the way in and out of Santiago de Chile, from the south, and an increase in traffic capacity by 50%.
The 3-year project involves the construction of a 465-meter-long structure divided into two independent sections with three lanes each, with the possibility of adding a fourth lane in both directions.
The work, with an investment of 66 million euros, has incorporated substantial improvements in the infrastructure and the use of innovations in the pavement, sanitation and lighting; in addition to a new technological system that facilitates the control of the state of the bridge after a seismic event, which will also result in an improvement of road safety in the stretch.
Present at the inauguration were the President of the Republic, Michelle Bachelet; the Minister of Public Works, Alberto Undurraga; Leonardo Daneri, President of COPSA (Association of Public Works Concessionaires); and Luis Miguel de Pablo, General Director of VíasChile.