gabino cue Cué: wants highway finished.

Governor wants help to finish highway

But transportation officials say work is proceeding on the Oaxaca project

The governor of Oaxaca says he has approached the federal Transportation and Communications Secretariat for help finishing a new super-highway between the city of Oaxaca and the coast.

Gabino Cué said he met with Secretary Gerardo Ruiz Esparza to express his concerns over construction delays on the Oaxaca-Puerto Escondido highway that have been caused by financial problems at ICA, the project’s contractor.

He said he hoped that with federal intervention the project could be finished, “hopefully during my government’s term, but if not then in the new one. What matter is that it is finished.”

But federal transportation officials said work on the highway is under way in six locations where 1,500 people are working daily at an accelerated pace. The more than 5-billion-peso freeway is some four years behind schedule due largely to local conflicts over ownership of the land the highway crosses and compensation payments to local communities.

Lately the financial woes at ICA have threatened to delay it yet again. In December the state said there was a 700-million-peso shortfall that the contractor was unable to raise.

The Transportation Secretariat said this week the federal government is committed to completing the highway as soon as possible and “as of now we have made a significant advance.”

The highway is expected to reduce travel time from the state capital to Puerto Escondido to just over two hours from six or seven. It will also provide a better link to another coastal tourist destination, Huatulco, two hours east of Puerto Escondido.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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