A federal transportation official said there are big spending plans for non-toll federal highways, 22% of which are in bad shape.
Cedric Escalante Sauri said the highways have been poorly maintained, especially those in the states of Veracruz, Oaxaca, Chiapas and Guerrero.
The infrastructure undersecretary at the Transportation Secretariat said immediate attention is required on long stretches of highway that have been damaged by climate conditions and use.
“The largest portion of the budget for highways will go to service and maintenance of non-toll highways; we have close to 20 billion pesos (US $1 billion).”
He added that the investment doubles that of previous years, calling it the most significant investment ever made in the history of highway maintenance in Mexico.
Escalante said the federal budget for all the nation’s highways totals 42 billion pesos (US $2.2 billion). In addition to the 20 billion pesos for non-toll roads, 9 billion will go toward construction and modernization, 8 billion to access and rural roads and 5 billion pesos to other needs, such as signage.
Oaxaca will be a special focus, with funding going to improving access roads to 50 municipal seats. In total, 138 municipalities in the state do not have paved access roads, compared to 300 in the entire country.
Construction Industry Chamber president Eduardo Ramírez Leal said the federal government has invited regional businesses to participate in the highway revitalization plan, which should be considered as important as the administration’s other large infrastructure projects such as the Dos Bocas oil refinery and the Maya Train.
One goal of the government’s national development plan is to guarantee that at least 90% of the nation’s 40,590 kilometers of federal non-toll highways are in good condition by the end of the government’s term in 2024.
Source: El Financiero (sp)