The Chilean Senate has approved three draft proposals to enhance transport infrastructure, including a tunnel to allow the Transandino Centro railway to complete an international link from Mendoza to the Andes.
The Binational Trans-Andean Railroad Entity (Entidad Binacional Ferrocarril Trasandino or EBIFETRA), created at the Treaty of Maipú in 2009, will oversee the tunnel project to allow for a lower altitude international connection between Argentina and Chile.
The second of the three initiatives, will be lead by the Tunnel Binational Las Lenas Entity (Entidad Binacional Túnel Las Leñas or EBILEÑAS), to revise the necessary technical studies to determine the feasibility of an International tunnel linking Paso Las Leñas.
The final proposed project which has been approved is the creation of International Tunnel Paso de Agua Negra (Túnel Internacional Paso de Agua Negra or EBITAN), constructing a 13.9km road tunnel.
This would mean that the altitude of the border crossing would be reduced from about 4,800 to 4,000 meters above sea level at the tunnel entrance on the Argentine side and about 3,600 meters at the Chilean entrance.
The project is expected to ultimately reduce cost and time for transportation of cargo and passengers, and support trade in the region.
The three approved projects had already received approval from Argentinia, and with senate approval planning can now advance.