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
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
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
"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...