Chile’s public works ministry (MOP) is planning to begin the bidding process for Vespucio Oriente highway concession in capital city Santiago by the second quarter of 2012.

The cost of the highway project has been increased to $1.9bn from the earlier estimate of $1.6bn, MOP said

The Chilean Ministry has prequalified ten consortiums to build and operate the highway, and fixed 28 October as a date to submit bids for prequalification.

The projects involves the construction of two three-lane tunnels spanning 13km, the linking Grecia and El Salto avenues in the eastern part of Santiago, and completion of the city’s beltway, according to

MOP expects to receive technical bids by July 2013 and award the concession by the end of that year, with construction of the project set to start in 2014.