MONTEVIDEO Ė Spanish construction company Sacyr joined Uruguayís Grinor in a consortium bidding for a contract to rehabilitate and maintain highways in the South American country.
The Corredor Vial 21-14 project, described as a public-private partnership, involves the rehabilitation and maintenance of 170 kilometers (105.6 miles) of existing roads in western Uruguay.
The first three years of the 24-year concession will be devoted to renovation and construction to bring the entire network up to standard.
Other bidders include the Teyma consortium, formed by the Uruguayan subsidiary of Spainís Abengoa and Argentine firm Chediack, and another group comprising six local companies.
An advisory committee is currently reviewing the proposals and will make a recommendation.
The project covers Route 21 between the cities of Nueva Palmira and Mercedes, used mostly by cargo trucks transporting grains to the Nueva Palmira port on the Uruguay River; and Route 24 in Rio Negro and Paysandu provinces, serving the logging industry.
The required investment for the first three years of the project is estimated at $78 million.
Officials say the government will pay the selected operator a fixed annual fee of $13.4 million and a variable amount related to traffic load that is expected to range from $4.5 million a year at the outset to $9.3 million.