ARGENTINA’s Under-Secretary of Transport Julio Montaña has formally approved tender specifications for the project developed by Tecnicagua to restore the rail link between Mendoza and Los Andes in Chile, expected to cost in excess of US$200m (RG 12.02 p726).

Once the scheme has been agreed with Chilean bodies including state railway EFE and authorised by presidential decree, bids could be invited for a concession to undertake the project around the end of this year.

The government has also expressed its support for a second, more southerly crossing of the Andes between Zapala and Lonquimay in Chile that is being promoted by Jorge Sobisch, Governor of Argentina’s Neuquén province. Returning from a meeting with federal officials in Buenos Aires, Sobisch said that he expected Odebrecht and Mota Engil to begin design work last month on the first 58 km from Zapala to Cuchillo Cur