LA PAZ – Bolivia’s longest bridge, a 1,440-meter (4,721-foot) span over the Grande River in the eastern region of Santa Cruz, opened this weekend.
The $49.9 million bridge was completed “without any political differences being taken into account,” President Evo Morales said during the inauguration ceremony.
Morales and Santa Cruz Gov. Ruben Costas, a member of the opposition, opened the bridge during the ceremony on Saturday in Okinawa, a town about 109 kilometers (some 68 miles) from Santa Cruz city.
“The entire belt around the north will be a belt of progress, not just for the north of Santa Cruz but for all Bolivians,” Costas said.
The Banegas bridge makes it possible for vehicles to cross the Grande River in a matter of minutes, a trip that used to take at least two hours over dangerous pontoon bridges.
South Korea’s Hyundai, Dohwa Engineering and the Bolivian Highway Administration completed the project in 35 months.