The Catalan engineering consultancy BAC wins the tender to improve part of Bolivia’s so-called “road of death”

14 Jan 2017

The Catalan firm, BAC Engineering Consultancy Group, has won the Bolivian government tender—via the Bolivian Road Administration (ABC)—to design the upgrading work for part of the so-called “road of death”, considered to be one of the world’s most dangerous roads. 

The project, funded by the Corporación Andina de Fomento (CAF), will last 9 months and consists of defining the work needed to be done to improve the road in all its aspects, with emphasis on safety conditions, based on a new definition of the layout. This project was born in 2015 during a trade mission to Bolivia organised by Catalonia Trade & Investment, the Catalan government agency for business competitiveness, and has been supported all the way by Catalonia Trade & Investment Offices in Washington and in Buenos Aires. 

As a result of the meetings held with international financial institutions, companies and local agents, BAC began to develop collaboration projects with Bolivian partners, accessing public and private tenders. With the granting of this contract, the first of four that the firm has achieved so far, they have decided to open a branch office in Bolivia offering all the firm’s services. 

In this specific case, the stretch of the road for which the Catalan Company must present an upgrading proposal is located in the Yungas province, belonging to the Department of La Paz. It is 73 kilometres long and connects various towns, from Unduavi to Chulumani. The objective is to define the work needed to enlarge the road and improve the surfacing, given that in some areas it is only 3.5 metres wide. Built in the 1930s and 4,000 metres above sea-level, this stretch of the road is part of the so-called “death road”, known for its unstable slopes, irregular surfacing and insufficient drainage, combined with unfavourable geotechnical conditions and the uneven topography of the zone, with cliffs and steep slopes being common along the route. 

BAC, today present in the markets of South and Central America, has already performed civil works in building, industrial engineering and quality control areas, such as the upgrading of a motorway in the region of Santiago de Chile, the construction of container terminal in Costa Rica and the building of a convention centre in Bogota. 

The firm, with 300 workers around the world, has a turnover of 15.5 million euros. The opening of its Bolivian offices adds to its other branch offices in Algeria, Armenia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Peru, Qatar, Madrid and Barcelona.

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