President Bachelet to include Santiago’s metro line 7 in annual address

SANTIAGO – Chile will make a formal announcement on line No. 7 of Santiago’s metro during the annual state of the nation address that President Michelle Bachelet will give on June 1, newspaper El Mercurio reported.

The project has been in the works since 2014 but has been stuck in the studies phase. In late April, it was reported that the finance ministry has not yet allocated the funds for construction although later transport minister Paola Tapia denied that the initiative was stalled.

According to government sources cited by the paper, the new line will not necessarily run parallel to the overcrowded line No. 1, but it will aim to reduce congestion on the latter.

Bachelet announced in 2014 a US$4.2bn transport infrastructure plan that included studies for line 7, alongside the extension of line No. 2 and construction of line 3.

At the time, the government said line 7 may be built under a PPP.

The government’s hospital construction plan will also feature in Thursday’s address. According to El Mercurio, Bachelet is expected to say that construction has finished on nine of the promised 20 hospitals.

The nine are new hospitals in Penco-Lirquén, Salamanca, Lanco, Futaleufú, Puerto Aysén, Puerto Natales, Porvenir and Puerto Williams, plus the Exequiel González Cortés children’s hospital.