between paralyzed works and toll collection

between paralyzed works and toll collection
between paralyzed works and toll collection

What is the degree of progress of the three pending works?

The Palmira Variant is at 85%. The double track to San Juan 50% and the bridges reach approximately 25%.

Each one has had their financial and legal problems that have slowed them down, like the route to San Juan. How much do you intend to advance this year?

It all depends on the resources we have, on which we are still waiting for definitions from the Nation. The companies, both on the double track and on the Palmira variant, have continued doing minor work; The works are not paralyzed but they are going at a very, very slow pace waiting for what happens with the financing.

And how much does the budget need to be expanded to complete them?

I couldn’t put numbers yet, because the budget is for 2023, and an update is being worked on.

The amount involved as of May 2023 for the Palmira variant is $14,812 million. To rebuild the fallen bridges in the Luján-Tunuyán double track to August 2023 they got engaged $2,091 million and for the double track of Route 40 Mendoza-San Juan, December 2023 yielded an amount of $36,116 million.

In all cases, amounts that must be updated according to the Construction Price Index before requesting what is left to complete them.

When will the budgets be updated?

I estimate that By the end of April we will have those numbers ready. And as is happening with all works, everywhere, we are waiting. It is something general, it does not only affect national roads. They are pending definitions of the Nation that entail a readjustment and we will see when it comes out.

19 Emilce Lozano, Chief Executive Officer

While waiting for certainty about the funds, the head of Highways assures that this month she will have updated the amounts of the 3 pending works.

mario warrior

How is the management going before the Nation?

Well, we depend on the funds that approve us. We have a pending meeting in Buenos Aires with no date for now, and from there we will see how we continue with the works. But beyond that, Roads has a basic task which is the conservation of the routes, and it cannot be lost sight of, because it is about the safety of those who circulate on them. Now the winter operation is coming and we have to be attentive to that.

Paradigm shift

From a present State, to another that gives its place to private action. It is the message that the Government of Javier Milei installs and it directly touches the very essence of the Road Directorate, a decentralized organization that, on the verge of turning 92 years old, was born to promote the country’s road infrastructure but with another conception of the State.

It is up to you to manage in the midst of this paradigm shift, less State and more private. What is the management that can be carried out like this?

Everything is feasible. You just have to analyze the terms, which parties are involved, and if they are national decisions that are useful, they will have to be implemented.

An example of what may be feasible?

It will have to be analyzed. The toll issue is being talked about, although obviously it will not be a decision on my part.

A decade ago, tolls were proposed in Mendoza as a way to maintain some routes, for example the Panamericana. But it did not prosper

Today I think the toll is viable. If necessary, it is necessary to analyze what the proposals include. Then some issues will remain to be defined between the Province and the Nation to implement it.

What is going to happen to the Highway structure in this new context?

Changes always occur from one Government to another. They have been difficult, different months, and there will surely be a restructuring. Whatever is necessary will be restructured, obviously with the limitations we have: it involves seeing the tasks, the teams, that we are oiling so that everything works.

Emilce Lozano, National Highway Mendoza

Lozano admits that he will restructure Highways “where possible.” And that toll collection is “viable” to maintain and finance routes.

The winter road operation

With the historical episodes of storms that make travel in the high mountains difficult and the recurring closures of the border crossing, Lozano is also preparing the annual operation of the organization he heads to keep the routes in the best possible conditions.

What does the winter operation consist of in 2024?

Taking into account that the budget is the same as 2023 and is obviously not very large, it is being prioritized and optimized. We want to secure resources for the entire winter season.

With the same budget and higher costs, it will be a short blanket…

Exactly. Oh well, That’s why we are reducing where it can be reduced no deadlines to do it. It is still unknown how much it can reach, we are on the go.

What is going to be prioritized?

Machinery and people, everything necessary to be able to do the work of clearing the routes and keeping them open whenever possible. Although sometimes the openings do not depend only on Argentina but also on Chile.

At this juncture, new works have been ruled out. TRUE?

Clear. For now we intend to finish those that are pending, such as the Palmyra variantwhich even with a significant degree of progress It won’t be able to finish this year either. because it takes a long time. And anticipate if there is something urgent when possible. Nowadays is impossible to think of new projects.

Curriculum vitae

Originally from San Rafael, Lozano is a construction engineer. As a professional in the area, she accumulates experience and a journey of several years in the public sector.

In 2014, during the government of Francisco “Paco” Pérez, she was appointed to head the Southern Provincial Highway delegation, where she remained for 8 years. Already in 2022 she moved to the Ministry of Infrastructure of the Government of Mendoza “in charge of the inspection of works”, as she herself details, which was her second stage in that portfolio.

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