A highway in Oaxaca that will slash travel times between Oaxaca city and southern state’s Pacific coast is nearing completion after 20 years of delays and failed attempts.
Governor Alejandro Murat said the 102.4 kilometer Oaxaca-Barranca Larga-Ventanilla highway was 80.2% finished and that work was continuing between Barranca Larga and Ventanilla. Once in operation, the highway is set to link the state capital to the popular tourist destination of Puerto Escondido, cutting travel times from six to 2 1/2 hours.
The two lane highway will have a hard shoulder, 10 bridges, three tunnels, two toll booths, nine exit roads and a viaduct.
Murat, who was supervising construction, said that four sections were still being worked on: one section is at 94.6% completion and another is at 87.7%. However, Murat added two other sections remain further from completion, at 67.8% and 64.6%. In April 2021, Murat predicted the highway would be completed on March 21 of this year.
Murat said that work and conciliation groups would be set up with communities negatively impacted by the construction to “search for a solution to their social and infrastructural demands.”
Land disputes have marred progress on the highway: there have been deadly flare ups between the communities of Sola de Vega and San Vicente Coatlán over a long running dispute, which the newspaper Reforma previously reported has taken more than 50 lives over about 60 years.
The highway crosses the municipalities of Ejutla de Crespo, Yogana, San Vicente Coatlán, Miahuatlán, San Pablo Coatlán, San Sebastián Coatlán and Santa María Colotepec.
On his tour of the highway, Murat supervised construction of a bridge in Colotepec and the San Sebastián tunnel, on Section II of the highway.
The government will be looking forward to the once unlikely completion of the highway. The 20-year-old project has seen presidents come and go: Vicente Fox, Felipe Calderón and Enrique Peña Nieto all failed to fulfill their promises to complete it.
With reports from El Universal