Murat: announces highway funds. Murat: announces highway to be completed.

New governor says highway funds okayed

Murat says president has promised funds to complete highway from Oaxaca to coast

A long-awaited highway linking the city of Oaxaca to the coast near the beach destination of Puerto Escondido will be completed in the next 15 months, the state’s incoming governor said yesterday.

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The Quadratín news agency reported that Alejandro Murat Hinojosa said President Enrique Peña Nieto has approved the expenditure of 3 billion pesos to finish the Barranca Larga-Ventanilla highway, a project whose completion has been delayed several times.

The most recent delay was caused by the near-bankruptcy of the principal contractor, Empresas ICA, which has been unable to carry on construction of the 5-billion-peso project. The state of Oaxaca said last March the company had been unable to raise 700 million pesos it needed to continue.

This week’s report on Murat’s pledge to finish the highway contained no details regarding the project’s outstanding costs. Nor was there any information on a second major highway project in Oaxaca, which also remains unfinished.

That project, estimated to cost some 9 billion pesos, was supposed to have been completed during the second half of this year. It links the city of Oaxaca and the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.

Murat said in an interview during a meeting in Huatulco, Oaxaca, of the National Governors’ Conference that funds for the 104-kilometer-long highway to the coast will come from Fonadin, the National Infrastructure Fund.

Describing the announcement as “great news,” Murat said Mexico’s presidency will have a much stronger presence in Oaxaca after December 1 when the new governor takes office.

Murat, a member of the governing Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), has close ties to Peña Nieto, and previously served as head of the Infonavit housing agency.

His father, José Murat Casab, was Oaxaca governor from 1998 until 2004.

Source: Quadratín (sp)

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