A PRIVATE-SECTOR consortium has put forward plans for construction of a four-line metro in the Uruguayan capital Montevideo. Backed by commercial property developers, the group hopes to negotiate a concession from the municipal administration by mid-2000 to build and operate the network.

According to Metro Montevideo Director-General Manuel Carballal, construction of the main routes could be completed in just 45 months at a cost of US$900m. He says the project will use established technology and proven rolling stock designs, and he expects to have signed an agreement with ’a major European supplier’ to back the project before the end of the year.

The heavy metro Red line would run in bored tunnel under the old city, surfacing after the Tres Cruces interchange to run on an elevated alignment along the Avenida 8 de Octubre to Curva de Maroñas. The Yellow line from Tres Cruces to the airport would start below ground, run at-grade or elevated along the Avenida Italia and Avenida de los Américas and then return to tunnel under the airport. The Green line would be in tunnel as far as the Palacio Legislativo and then run on the surface to Plaza Colón in the northwest; the outer end of this route may share the existing AFE rail alignment.

The Blue light rail line would start from Barrio Sur and loop around the city to serve shopping developments at Puerto Carrelos and Mantendeo, before terminating at the Monumento D