China's Harzone Industry Corp. has been selected to build two bridges in Bolivia's Amazon region that, once completed, will be the nation's longest, the official ABI news agency said Friday.

The $69.4 million contract was signed in the northern Amazon province of Pando by the Chinese company and the Bolivian Highway Administration, or ABC, in a ceremony attended by President Evo Morales.

Construction of the bridges over the Beni and Madre de Dios rivers is part of the government's plan to improve transportation links in that region.

During the rainy season, the rivers overflow their banks and area communities are cut off due to the impossibility of boat transportation.

The 580-meter-long (1,900-foot-long) bridge over the Madre de Dios river will be concluded in 3 1/2 years and cost $42.2 million, 70 percent of which will come from the national government and 30 percent from Pando's government, the ABC says.

The Beni II bridge, which will stretch for 480 meters (1,570 feet) and cost $27.2 million, will provide a first-ever road link between the provinces of Beni and Pando. EFE