January 29, 2019 / 5:15 PM / 6 months ago

Colombia's $14.8 bln road project to be 70 pct underway by March -president

BOGOTA, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Colombia will have 70 percent of a vital $14.8 billion road project financed and under construction by March, President Ivan Duque said on Tuesday.

The so-called 4G infrastructure project has suffered significant delays since it began in 2016 because of corruption scandals, some of which involved beleaguered Brazilian construction group Odebrecht.

“With the (transport) minister we put in motion a plan of economic reactivation and in March we will have 70 percent of 4G projects financed and in the execution phase,” Duque said at an economic conference in the coastal city of Cartagena.

“Colombia needs us to advance on these projects and we will bet on finishing these projects,” Duque said. The 4G will cost an estimated 47 trillion pesos.

Duque did not say how much of 4G was currently financed. The effort includes 40 road, bridge and tunnel projects and will likely stretch several years beyond its original 2021 completion date.

$1 = 3,167.86 Colombian pesos Reporting by Nelson Bocanegra Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb Editing by Helen Murphy and David Gregorio

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