ment) to upgrade a vital connector linking the country’s northern and southern tran- sit corridors – and to make it the smartest highway in the country. This project aims to reduce transport


costs, travel time and road fatalities. It’s being planned as a single road investment for one corridor connector between two main corridors coming out of Brazil. The project will also fund a study on future investments aimed at the northern San Matias-San Ignacio de Velasco corridor. The road upgrades covered by this loan

extend for 325km, connecting the towns of San Ignacio de Velasco and San Jose de Chiquitos in the Department of Santa Cruz. The road is on a north-south axis, and con- nects the two main east-west corridors coming out of and going into Bolivia’s major trading partner, Brazil.

Photo: Neil Palmer (CIAT) Linking highways

Gordon Feller looks at Bolivia’ s ambitious Santa Cruz Road Corridor Connector Project

“The project aims to reduce transport costs, travel time and road fatalities and is a

single road investment for one connector between two main corridors coming out of Brazil


he World Bank has organized a US$230m (€216m) loan (US$100m of which comes from Bolivia’s govern-

The project has two elements: upgrade

San Ignacio de Velasco-San Jose de Chiqui- tos road; and study the upgrading of the San Matias-San Ignacio de Velasco road corridor. The upgrading of San Ignacio de Velasco-

San Jose de Chiquitos road (about 203 km) will likely cost US$228 million. This compo- nent of the loan will finance a conventional input type of contract for improvement of the corridor connector between the two main corridors coming out of Brazil, about 300km from the borders of Bolivia and Bra- zil. The road is important to Bolivia’s effort in upgrading the transit corridor from Brazil to Chile, to give better connectivity to Boliv- ian beneficiaries in the area and beyond and will reduce cost of transport. Studying the upgrade will cost US$2

million. This will be a technical, economic, environmental and social study and will serve as the basis for the bid documents which focus on upgrading the northern road corridor from Brazil (San Matias to San

Ignacio de Velasco). Discussions are under- way to explore the national road agency’s interest in introducing a possible Design- Build-Maintain-Operate-Transfer (DBMOT) through the study. Overall responsibility for Bolivia’s road

sector sits with the national Ministerio de Obras Publicas, Servicios y Vivienda (MOPSV –Ministry of Public Works, Services and Housing). The primary roadnetwork (Red Vial Fundamental – RVF) is managed by the national road agency Administra- dora Boliviana de Carreteras (ABC). ABC’s mandate is to plan, study and design, con- struct, maintain, preserve and operate its road network.

PAVING THE WAY Bolivia’s road sector strategy is focused on expanding and upgradingthe primary road network; providing appropriate periodic maintenance (rehabilitation and repaving), particularly on the paved primary roadnet-

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