Brazilian authorities have pledged to start dredging the Merín-De los Patos lagoons waterway later this year, most likely in the spring, Uruguayan Undersecretary of Transport and Public Works, Juan José Olaizola said. The initiative is part of the agreements reached by presidents Luis Lacalle Pou and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva during their meeting in January in Montevideo.
The Brazilian government plans to begin dredging the San Gonzalo channel, which joins the Merín and De los Patos lagoons in the spring, in the Yaguarón River, and at the access to the port of Santa Victoria, Olaizola explained after virtually meeting with his Brazilian colleagues in the past few days. Also taking part in the talks was Uruguay’s Ambassador to Brasilia Guillermo Valles.
“This seems important to us because it ratifies what was discussed in Brasilia and is in line with the decision to call for bids for a new bridge over the Yaguarón River and the designation of the Rivera airport as international,” Olaizola said in reference to the Uruguayan delegation visiting Brazil on March 7 last, which also included Ministers Francisco Bustillo (Foreign Affairs), Azucena Arbeleche (of Economy and Finance); and José Luis Falero (Transport and Public Works).
The host team included Ministers Mauro Vieira (Foreign Affairs); Fernando Haddad (Finance); Renan Filho (Transport); Márcio França (Ports and Airports), and other officials.
Olaizola recalled that the dredging will be financed by the Brazilian government, which, once completed, will grant the concession for the beaconing and signaling of the channel. The waterway project contemplates the construction of a port at the mouth of the Tacuarí River in the Merín lagoon.