Paving under way on the new highway in Oaxaca. Paving under way on the new highway in Oaxaca.

Highway linking Oaxaca city and coast is 58% complete

Upon completion in 2022 it is expected to carry 2,000 vehicles a day

Construction of a highway that will connect and drastically cut travel time between Oaxaca city and the coastal city of Puerto Escondido is currently 58% complete, according to state development bank Banobras.

Oaxaca Governor Alejandro Murat announced in February that the long overdue highway is on track to be completed in 2022.

The 6.8-billion-peso (US $280-million) Barranca Larga-Ventanilla highway will cut the 6 1/2-hour trip from the state capital to the popular surfing and beach destination to an estimated 2 1/2 hours.

The 104.2-kilometer route will connect Highway 175 at the town of Barranca Larga — a little over an hour south of Oaxaca city — with coastal Highway 200 in the municipality of Santa María Colotepec, just to the east of Puerto Escondido.

President López Obrador announced in June 2019 that the highway would finally see completion during his administration, as well as the similarly long overdue Mitla-Tehuantepec highway, in the east of the state. The projects floundered during previous administrations.

He toured the highway with Governor Murat earlier this month and said that Oaxaca was an example for the rest of the country in road construction.

“The construction workers in Oaxaca are the best in the world,” he said. “We’re building roads differently, not the conventional way, not how it was done before. We’re doing it with the participation of the people.”

In January, he visited Oaxaca communities to observe the results of a government program to give road investment money directly to communities in order to improve infrastructure. He called the road a “work of art” built by the people and “free of corruption.”

During his visit earlier this month, he said that his administration was able to make the investments happen as a result of its efforts to root out corruption in the government.

“That’s why we can have this budget without raising taxes or gas prices, without getting the country in debt,” he said.

The Barranca Larga-Ventanilla highway will have 10 bridges, a viaduct, three tunnels, nine junctions and two toll booths. In addition to tourism, it will benefit over 100,000 inhabitants of the region it traverses, as it will provide them with a faster way to get to the coast.

It is expected to see around 2,000 vehicles per day upon completion, and the speed limits will be set to 90-110 kilometers per hour.

Banobras said that the project will have generated 1,800 direct and 3,500 indirect jobs in the region.

Sources: Revista Transportes y Turismo (sp), Quadratin (sp)

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