ON AUGUST 31 Mayor of La Paz Juan Del Granado formally launched a bidding for a 35-year concession to build and operate a 10·6 km elevated light metro route in the Bolivian capital.

Expected to cost US$73m to build, the route would run from Cotacota in the south to Calle Colón in the city centre. It would follow the course of the Huayña Jahuira and Choqueyapu rivers to cause the minimum disruption to private property and road traffic during construction and operation.

The 10 stations will be built at a height of between 5m and 6m above street level, and the steepest gradient will be 7%. Bids are due in by July 30 2006, and the municipal government expects to name a preferred bidder by August 31 and sign the concession contract by September 30. Work is due to start on October 10 2006.