GZ Presents Ruta del Sol Report to Colombian Agencies
The Ruta del Sol Road Project stretches over 620 miles (1000 kilometers) and will eventually connect Colombia’s capital of city Bogotá to the Caribbean coast, while connecting several towns and cities along the way. Ruta del Sol will provide a quick, efficient transportation route for commuters, goods and services, while alleviating areas major traffic congestion. The alignment includes a two-lane highway, as well as several bridges, tunnels, high cuts and embankments. Split into three Sectors–and each of those split into sub-sectors called “Tramos”–Ruta del Sol has been under construction for years, although construction on Tramo 1, Sector 1 (13.4 miles, or 21.6 kilometers long) has yet to begin due to concerns regarding slope stability along the alignment, which winds through mountainous terrain susceptible to landslides and mass movements. These risks may have been exacerbated by excessive rains that affected the area during the 2010-2011 La Niña phenomenon.
In early July 2013, GZ principals Dr. Vojtech Gall and Dr. Kurt Zeidler, vice president Dr. Axel Nitschke, and geologist Richard Blessing, as well as principal engineer Dr. Ernesto Vicente and climatologist Dr. Fernando Oropeza conducted a site visit to Tramo 1, Sector 1 of Ruta del Sol, which connects the municipalities of Villeta and Guaduas in Cundinamarca Department, in order to evaluate the present geological and geomorphological conditions of the region and their relation to the locations of planned structures along the alignment. The current alignment includes several bridges and viaducts, as well as two tunnels that have a combined length of over 2,ooo feet (3,200 meters). The team was guided by representatives from Agencia Nacional de Infraestructura (ANI, the National Infrastructure Agency), as well as Consorcio Vial Helios (HELIOS) over a two-day period. Afterwards, the team interviewed at several Colombian government agencies for more information related to interaction of the local climate, the alignment of Tramo 1, Sector 1, the geological and geomorphological conditions of the area, and the civil and structural elements of the project, among other factors. For the next two months, GZ prepared a report summarizing findings from the site visit and assessing the collected and available data in order to determine whether the alignment of Tramo 1, Sector 1 should be moved.
GZ presented the findings of the report to representatives from ANI, HELIOS, the Ministry of Transportation and MSB Solutions on Thursday, September 5.