Chile's public works ministry MOP has reportedly spent more than 1mn pesos (US$1,500) a day to keep the leaves of the botched Cau Cau bascule bridge raised while plans advance to rebuild it.
A tender is due to be launched in August for the work, local newspaper La Tercera reported.
The bridge, in the southern city of Valdivia, was meant to be completed in 2014 but was never finished after one of the road decks was installed upside down by the original contractor, Spanish company Azvi. The ministry's oversight of the project was criticized.
For a period of 11 months, or 335 days, from July 2015 until June of this year, the MOP was found to have paid 348mn pesos to the two companies, VSL and DRMD, tasked with ensuring the leaves of the bridge – whose raising mechanisms do not work properly – remained upright to let vessels pass, the paper said.
"This situation is a product of a lack of intelligence on the part of the MOP, because it's been a long time since we made the diagnosis that the arms of the Cau Cau bridge did not work," Valdivia's mayor, Omar Sabat, was quoted as saying.
In July 2015, the MOP canceled the contract with Azvi and since then has shouldered maintenance costs except those costs associated with the initial raising of the leaves in April that year.
Associated costs should eventually be returned to the state via legal avenues, the MOP's Valdivia unit was reported as saying.
Pictured: An artist's impression the Cau Cau bridge, which was never completed and now needs rebuilding.