The Province

Bioceanic Corridor

The integration between Argentina and Chile, to strengthen commercial, cultural, and social bonds, is a dream that came true by virtue of the excellent diplomatic relationship that today exists between these nations.
Mendoza Province has a paved border pass very well known, called “Los Libertadores”, which crosses the Andes through National Highway Nº 7.
According to the projections made by the Provincial Highway Administration of Mendoza (DPV), in 2005, the number of vehicles that will circulate across the pass will amount to 3,780 (2,600 cars and 1,180 trucks). On May 20, 2000, during the “IV Encuentro Paso Internacional El Pehuenche” (IV Meeting - El Pehuenche International Pass), that took place in General Acha, La Pampa Province, the provincial DPV Director, the engineer Jorge Mastrausa, addressed his speech. He said that taking into account the length of the trucks that carry out the international transport of goods through this border pass, the meaning of these figures “is as if we would say that 11,400 vehicles will circulate daily”, meaning that with this traffic, the pass “is no longer fit for two ways”. He also said that it constitutes a serious problem for the traffic of goods, and the tourism activity would have negative results, as it would be impossible to circulate on a road of only two ways. His message indicates that in five year the pass will inevitably collapse.
For this reason, for two years it has been affirmed the need to find out an alternative for the Andean Corridor, and the studies conducted lead to the “El Pehuenche” border pass located to the south, on National Highway Nº 224. At present this pass is open a few months during the year -as it has not been yet paved and the snow makes impossible the circulation without maintenance. It is much lower (in height) than the «Los Libertadores» pass and the slopes are gentle (less than 6 %), which is rendered in time and gas saving. Both countries are already working to pave this pass, and several provinces are also developing bioceanic corridors from a long time ago.
Road corridors: as from the time the “El Pehuenche” pass has been paved, provinces like Mendoza, San Luis, La Pampa and Buenos Aires have been actively working to organize the Bioceanic Corridors, the routes that will links both countries.
Among the corridors, there are two well defined: one will link Constitución, a Chilean port area located in VII Región del Maule to the port of San Nicolás de los Arroyos in Buenos Aires Province, and it crosses the center and south of Mendoza Province, the south of San Luis Province, the north of La Pampa Province and important locations in the north of Buenos Aires Province such as Junín, Pergamino, etc. The other will link the same port area in Chile to the port of Bahía Blanca, in Buenos Aires Province, by crossing the south of Mendoza Province, La Pampa Province from northwest to southeast, and the south of Buenos Aires Province. In both routes, there are portions of road that need improving, while others are not paved at all.

The Pehuenche System and its advantages, according to empirical, scientific, military, and commercial considerations.

The teacher and journalist Pablo Lacoste, says in his publication “Pehuenche-Frontier System, association and routes in the Central Andes of Argentina and Chile (1658-1997)”: “On repeated occasion, empirical observations and studies proved the Pehuenche System to offer more advantages, as regards construction, when compared to other tracks of the cordillera (located to the north). This is so because these passes are much lower than the others: in the Pehuenche System, the cordillera presents “holes” at 2,300 to 2,500 metres above sea level, whereas the “Cristo Redentor” is at 4,000 m, and from San Juan Province towards the north, any road requires to reach at least 4,500 m. Besides, the slopes are gentle, which reduces the road construction and exploitation costs. These advantages were already weighted in colonial times. Despite they did not have sophisticated instruments, the aborigines discovered that these roads gave them great advantages and they utilize them frequently.
Subsequently, as long as the border was moved to the south, studies based on scientific patterns began to be carried out in the Pehuenche System, all of them consistent with the aboriginal intuition. In late century 19, national and foreign experts studied the features of the Pehuenche System and compared it with the other passes located towards the north. English, French and Italians agreed on the advantages of this place, on the basis of the lower height of the passes and the gentleness of the slope. These studies were mostly performed with commercial purposes. Military experts also agree on this diagnosis. As a matter of fact, both in Chile and in Argentina, the Pehuenche System was considered very useful for military purposes on several opportunities.
After many centuries, and despite different cultural aspects and gnoseologic frameworks, the coincidence is remarkable: the empirical knowledge of the aborigine became consistent with the scientific knowledge of the engineers and, at the same time, the military analysis of the strategists was analogous to the commercial assessment of financiers.

4x4 Crossing "From La Pampa to the Pehuenche"
With this slogan, La Pampa Province has been supporting the surfacing of the international pass “El Pehuenche”, a fundamental tool to materialize the Bioceanic Corridors, by proposing promotional crossings.
In August, 1998, an enthusiastic group made the first 4x4 crossing “From La Pampa to the Pehuenche”, which linked he pampean capital with the border line.
Afterwards, in November, 1999, REGIÓN® Empresa Periodística made the 2nd 4x4 Crossing of the Bioceanic Corridor through the “Pehuenche” Pass, which was sponsored by Diario del Viajero® and important local companies. This time, by travelling the wild path of the trail that marks the projected route, the 2nd crossing proved National Highway Nº 143 needs to be surfaced.
With great satisfaction, dreams are coming true. The border pass is being paved and there will be a call for bids for the executive project to surface the mentioned pampean highway. But more time is need to have the Bioceanic Corridor finished and paved. Meanwhile, pampeans do not rest and REGIÓN® is already projecting the next 4x4 crossing of the Bioceanic Corridor through the “El Pehuenche” International Pass...


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