Cuesta de Las Chilcas

Construction of the 'Santiago – Los Vilos' highway section

The 'Cuesta de las Chilcas' is an area that is found along the Aconcagua highway route, in the Chilean Central Valley from Santiago to Los Vilos.

In 2013 FCC Constructionn took on the construction of the highway section "Improvements at Cuesta Las Chilcas" for Globalvia, the Aconcagua Highway awarded by the Ministry of Public Works (Chile). Route 5. Section: Santiago – Los Vilos.

The existing 4.7km stretch  is characterised by its mountainous geography with gradients of up to 9% and curves with radii of around 300 metres, without berms or  a central partition. It is also an area with one of the highest accident rates.

The work consists of improving the cross-section of the highway. This includes three ascending and two descending lanes, these have been separated by a barrier or rumble strip along the central partition, reducing gradients to 7% and expanding the radii on the route.

The platform was extended towards the side where the gorge lies. This required high retaining walls and ripraps to be built. The construction of a 482 m-long viaduct has also been built. In addition, two interchanges have been modified, three bridges have been replaced,  and nine pedestrian walkways, a service area and a toll area will also be built.

165,000 m3 (78% in rock) have been excavated during the earth works and it took over 500,000 m3 to form the embankments and fillings. The structures primarily consist of decks made of precast concrete beams (658 units) and reinforced earth walls, 17,000 m2. The foundations, bases and rigid pavement comprise 27,500 m3 of gravel material and 27,000 m3 of concrete. 

Remarkable aspects

  • The works will reduce the high accident rate on the 'Santiago – Los Vilos stretch of the Concagua highway.
  • There will be an improvement to the five kilometres stretch on the hill, extending the road and putting separation barriers in place.
  • During construction, provisional diversions will need to be put in place for traffic.

Client: Globalvia

Start date: January 2013

End date: 30 October 2015