Colombia’s National Infrastructure Agency (ANI) has announced that the replacement for the collapsed Chirajara Bridge will be a 460m-long reinforced concrete box girder bridge.

In January 2018 one of the towers of the 446m-long Chirajara cable-stayed bridge collapsed during construction, killing nine workers and injuring several more. The bridge, which was planned to have a 286m-long main span, crossed a 270m-deep ravine and was 80m away from deck closure at the time of the tragedy.

According to ANI, the decision to change the bridge typology was taken after ‘technical controversies’ arose around the cable-stayed design of the replacement crossing.

The highway concession company Coviandes had selected Eiffage Génie Civil and the group's Colombian subsidiary Puentes y Torones to build a replacement cable-stayed crossing. It was to be constructed in the same location as the previous one, with a main span of 286m supported by two V-shaped piers.

However, a statement from ANI cited concerns around the reuse of the existing foundations and the higher cost of building a cable-stayed structure in accordance with updated bridge design norm CCP-14. The bridge that collapsed in January 2018 was designed in accordance to the previous 1995 Seismic Design for Colombian Bridges.

Carlos García, executive vice-president of ANI, said that the balanced cantilever method was a construction method used frequently in Colombia for long-span bridges.

Construction is expected to begin in February or March 2021 with a 32-month predicted timetable.