HISTORY OF CARRETERA AUSTRAL
Prior to the construction of the Carretera Austral the only way you could to Aysen is via boat and flights. It could only be reached by land through Argentina.
In the 70s it was sought to strengthen the Chilean sovereignty over the Patagonia, especially at a time where there were two border disputes with Argentina in the Laguna del Desierto and the Beagle Channel.
Thus in 1976 the construction of this route began, which became known as Carretera Austral. The Cuerpo Militar del Trabajo (Military) participated in the construction of this road; an organization in charge of the Chilean Army as well as the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y su Dirección de Vialidad (Ministry of Public Works and Highway Administration) and other contractor businesses.
The works were carried out by more than 10,000 Chilean soldiers who participated in the construction of one of the most complex and costly paths in engineering because of the rugged terrain where it was located, it is located between glaciers, lakes, rivers, mountains, forests and fjords.
In late 1989, the Carretera Austral had more than 2,400 kilometers of road built, where a network of side roads is also included. The total project cost was approximately 300 million dollars
During the 90's the conclusion of the Highway with Villa O'Higgins was finished and in 2003 the branch to the Caleta Tortel was opened. Following construction towards the south of the route was made impossible by the presence of the Campos de Hielo Sur (Southern Ice Fields), because of its high mountains and glaciers.
In the Rio Bravo sector, the road continues to the snowdrifts of Montt, trying to unite Puerto Natales to Puerto Yungay, where you must use 9 transfers. It is expected that these works, also conducted by the Cuerpo Militar del Trabajo (Military Workers) is completed by 2040.