Line 7 has been rerouted to run very close to Line 1 under Avenida Providencia, which is heavily-developed commercially, instead of beneath the Andrés Bello freeway.
Three of the originally-proposed stations - at Salvador, La Concepción and Suecia - have been eliminated, and another added at Pedro de Valdivia, where there will be an interchange with Line 1. This will reduce the number of stations on Line 7 from 21 to 19.
The alignment of Line 7 has also been altered to better serve office blocks in the city’s new commercial heartland known as Sanhattan, situated to the east of the traditional city centre, by routing the line under Cerro Colorado street instead of a section of the Kennedy highway.
The modifications also involve extending the recently-inaugurated Line 6 into another part of Sanhattan to an interchange with Line 7 at Isidora Goyenechea.
Overall, because of the changes, Line 7’s annual ridership is now estimated at 98 million instead of the originally-forecast 85 million. Although the modifications entail additional route length and engineering complexities, such as those involved in tunnelling alongside Line 1 under Avenida Providencia, metro sources maintain that the original investment budget of $US 2.53bn should still hold good, considering that Line 7 will have two fewer stations. Line 7 is expected to open in 2026.
The new alignment for Line 7. Source: Metro de Santiago