Driving time between Mexico City and Acapulco has been reduced by at least one hour following yesterday’s opening of the Paso Express de Cuernavaca.
Almost 1 billion pesos (a little over US $50 million) was invested in the 15-kilometer, 10-lane highway project intended to reduce travel time through Cuernavaca to 10 minutes from 30 and cut the journey between the capital and Acapulco from about four and a half hours to just over three.
Four lanes, with a wider span of 3.5 meters, are intended for long-distance traffic and the other six, measuring 3.2 meters in width, will carry local traffic, “solving traffic issues and responding to the demand of thousands of tourists,” said the Communications and Transportation Secretary.
Travel time between the capital and Acapulco has until now been about four and a half hours.
Gerardo Ruiz Esparza dismissed a suggestion that the project’s completion had been timed intentionally to coincide with the beginning of the election campaign in the State of México, calling the convergence of dates “a happy coincidence.”
The Paso Express is part of a broader highway interconnection project for the country’s capital and its metropolitan area, representing an investment of 40 billion pesos (over $2 billion), of which 40% correspond to public funds and the rest to private enterprise.
The project entails work on close to 270 kilometers of highway in 11 strategic entry points to the metropolitan area of the valley of Mexico.
“This is the greatest construction and enlargement of federal highways carried out by any administration,” said Ruiz.
Work on five of the 11 entry points has already concluded, continued the secretary, four are in progress and two are about to start.
Those already in operation include:
• Four new lanes on a 12.5-kilometer stretch of the Marquesa-Toluca highway, representing an investment of 3.7 billion pesos.
• The seven-kilometer, 2.5-billion-peso interconnection of the elevated Periférico beltway with the Tlalpan toll booth, whose renovation required an additional 260 million pesos.
• The Mexico City-Puebla highway, enlarged to 10 lanes along a 14-kilometer-long stretch, an investment of 2.3 billion pesos.
• Eight new lanes on the Mexico City-Pachuca highway, costing a little over 2 billion pesos.
• The new 1.3-billion-peso, 21-kilometer Chalco-Cuautla highway.
The four projects still under construction include:
• The 1.9-billion-peso Pirámides-Texcoco highway. Seventeen kilometers long, it will offer connectivity to the new Mexico City International Airport.
• The 10-lane, 10-kilometer-long Peñón-Texcoco highway, representing 1.5 billion pesos in investment.
• 185 kilometers of the Mexico City-Querétaro highway, being upgraded with 2.8 billion pesos in funding.
• Connecting towns in the states of Jalisco, Michoacán, State of México and Mexico City, a 74-kilometer upgrade of the Atizapán-Atlacomulco highway is to cost 8.5 billion pesos.
The two projects yet to begin include the 2-billion-peso Viaducto Avenida 602. Extending over five kilometers, it will connect the Circuito Interior beltway to the new roads that lead to the new airport.
The second is the two-kilometer-long Chamapa-La Venta Viaducto that will connect with the Mexico City-Toluca highway and will require an investment of 1.3 billion pesos.
Secretary Ruiz said it was a federal priority to improve highway connectivity in central Mexico because 35% of the country’s economic activity is concentrated there.
Source: Milenio (sp)