Work on Bogotá metro may be delayed by at least six months by coronavirus restrictions

The start of work on the Bogotá metro could be delayed by more than six months as the companies competing to manage it are affected by coronavirus quarantine orders, Reuters reported yesterday.

The Bogotá Metro Company has extended the deadline for six international consortiums to submit their bids to be the project’s auditor to 27 May from 14 April, but if that tender process hits problems, the whole scheme could be pushed back.

The decision was prompted by operating and travel restrictions in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, the EMB said in a statement.

EMB manager Andrés Escobar said work could not begin until an auditor was appointed. "If the tender to select the independent controller is unsuccessful, another tender would have to be held and the start of works would be delayed for at least six months," he said.

The project was awarded last October to the Apca Transmimetro consortium, led by Chinese companies Harbour Engineering Company and Xi’an Metro, which will also run the system for the next 25 years.

The project is in the pre-construction phase, with work on site expected to begin in the second quarter of 2020 and be complete towards the end of 2025.

The elevated line will be the first in Bogotá, a city of some 8 million people that at present relies on a bus rapid transit network, which opened in 2000.

The idea for a metro was first proposed in 1967. This latest version is expected to cost around $4.3bn, with $480m of that coming from a loan from the European Investment Bank.

Image: The metro is seen as essential to resolve Bogotá’s chronic congestion (Bogotá Metro Company)

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