Santiago municipal council’s Urban Planning secretary says that construction work on the city’s streetcar project will begin at the end of next year at the intersection between Avenida de Circunvalacion Sur (the southern beltway) and the Salvador Estrella Sadhala Avenue. Interviewed by Diario Libre, Urban Planning director Erving Vargas said that the city government would issue an international tender for the execution of the project at the beginning of 2012.
The official said that the original route was changed to allow for a greater passenger load. The first stage of the streetcar project will cover a 12-kilometer route starting at the above- mentioned intersection and joining the 27 de Febrero Avenue all the way to Imbert Avenue. The route then continues along 27 de Febrero before joining Estrella Sadhala once again, this time in a north-south direction where it will reach the Av. Circunvalacion Sur once again as well as the Free Zone in the Ensanche Bermudez. Vargas said that this will be the shortest, most effective and most productive route of the railway system, which will cost over US$200 million in the first stage. The project will consist of 15 stations and a fleet of six trains, with wagons with low floors and a maximum speed of 70kph.