SANTIAGO – President Michelle Bachelet announced on Thursday a plan to spend $1.44 billion over the next five years to improve Chile’s highways in hopes of spurring economic growth.
“We have set the goal of reactivating the economy, not only to ensure and expand the well-being of families, but also to provide a solid foundation for the reforms that society demands,” the president said at the construction site of a new bridge over the Maipo River, on the outskirts of Santiago.
“Despite the economic constraints, we will use all the tools of the state to speed up growth. This is the social and strategic nature of the investments we are making throughout Chile,” she said.
The highway plan comprises 850 projects in 12 regions and is expected to generate more than 31,000 direct jobs in the construction phase.
The initiative will make Chile’s highways safer and better able to accommodate a flow of traffic “that is no longer what we had 10 or 20 years ago,” Bachelet said.
“It is necessary to update our infrastructure to respond to the current situation and anticipate what will happen in the coming years,” she said.