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febbraio 21, 2017 - Porsche

Building at the limit

Comunicato Stampa disponibile solo in lingua originale. 

The surrounding terrain is carefully inspected and closed off before the explosion. Silence reigns for just a few seconds, and then the hundred-meter-high cliff wall begins to move. Accompanied by a deafening roar, tons of stone break loose to leave a huge breach in the face of the rock. Here, on the last segment of the new PE-18 expressway—a few kilometers from the small town of Churín in the Peruvian Andes—skilled workers secured by ropes have been climbing the nearly vertical cliffs for weeks to drill holes and fill them with explosives. All of this has been going on while the normal level of traffic continues on the road below. Building infrastructure in Peru is not a task for the faint of heart.

Feeder to the Pan-American Highway

The high-altitude project is going well, and site manager Elmir Dias is satisfied. “We’ll finish the second stage of construction on time,” he reports. Then it will be possible to travel one hundred kilometers by expressway from Churín, more than 2,000 meters above sea level, directly to the port city of Huacho on the Peruvian coast. There PE-18 will meet traffic coming from Ecuador in the north and Bolivia in the south, because that is where it joins the legendary Pan-American Highway.

A network of around 45,000 kilometers of expressways, the Pan-American Highway runs along the west of the Americas, from Alaska in the north to Tierra del Fuego in the south, traversing 14 countries in the process. PE-18 is one of many side arms of this vast network. It is a major infrastructure project of the Peruvian government. Upgrading what used to be a secondary road into an expressway will offer an alternative to the country’s greatly overtaxed west-east artery, the Carretera Central. “That used to be the only paved option from the rainforests of the interior to the capital city of Lima,” says Dias. “And it has lately been experiencing more than ten times the volume of traffic it was originally planned to handle.”

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