La Línea (Road Pass)
La Línea (English: The Line) is a highway tunnel currently under construction between the cities of Calarcá, Quindío and Cajamarca, Tolima in Colombia. It will cross beneath the locally famous "Alto de La Línea" in the Cordillera Central or central range of the Andes mountains, easing traffic on one of Colombia's main east-west road connections (the National Route 40) which links Bogotá with Cali and the Pacific port of Buenaventura. It will be the longest road tunnel in Latin America. The total length of the tunnel will be 8,652 metres, its western entrance being at 2,420 metres above msl, 19 kilometres east of the city of Armenia and the eastern one at 2,505 metres above msl, at 37.8 kilometres west of Ibagué. Constructions of the pilot tunnel started on 30 September 2004 and both sides of the pilot met on 2 August 2008. In September 2007 Ministry of Transport launched the tender process for the construction of tunnel and connecting roads. Construction work started in December 2008 and was expected to finish in 2016. As of May 2016, opening is delayed to 2018.
Some of the benefits include lower operation costs ($37 Million US in the first year), shorter travel time and reduction in the number of accidents. Due to the difficult terrain that will be avoided, $37 million US should be saved in operating costs in the first year. Furthermore, travel time will decrease as average speed increases from its current 18.2 kilometers/hour to 60 kilometers/hour. For heavy vehicles, travel times can be decreased by 80 minutes, and 40 minutes for light vehicles. This section is also currently one of the stretches in the country most prone to accidents (four times the national average) due to its geography and climate. The tunnel could bring the stretch down to the average. Total economic benefits are estimated to be $40 million US per annum.
- "Hallazgos en el túnel de La Línea" (in Spanish). Portal de Información Minera Colombiana. 28 October 2008. Retrieved 1 December 2008.
- "Túnel Piloto La Línea o Túnel del Segundo Centenario" (in Spanish). ConConcreto. Retrieved 1 December 2008.
- "The World's longest Tunnel Page: Tunnels in Colombia". Retrieved 1 December 2008.
- Tendering for Colombia tunnel project - World Highways - News Article