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Partially finished bridge on the highway to the Oaxaca coast. Partially finished bridge on the highway to the Oaxaca coast.

Work on new highway to resume next month

Oaxaca governor's announcement indicates project is not dead

The governor of Oaxaca announced yesterday that work on a new highway to link the state capital to the Pacific coast will resume next month, allaying concerns about its future.

The project has faced numerous problems and delays since work first began in 2010 and came to a standstill this year, sparking speculation that it could be cancelled.

But speaking in Santa Lucía del Camino where he also handed over funding for social programs, Alejandro Murat Hinojosa said that since he became governor he has fought to restart the project.

When completed, the estimated 9-billion-peso highway will reduce travel time between Oaxaca and Puerto Escondido to a little more than two hours.

Work on the highway began during the administration of Murat’s predecessor Gabino Cué, who in 2010 brought an end to decades of rule by the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), raising expectations that he would bring positive change to the southern state.

However, when his tenure ended late last year many of the expectations were unmet and charges of corruption and unfinished projects tainted his time in office.

The election of Murat returned the state to the PRI and before he was even sworn in he announced that he had obtained direct approval from President Enrique Peña Nieto to release the funds needed to finish the new highway. At the time, he said that it would be completed in 15 months.

However, with little or no progress made in the first year of Murat’s governorship, many residents assumed the worst.

In August, a state delegate of the federal Transportation Secretariat (SCT) revised the highway’s completion date again, saying that it would be finished in 18 months.

Considering that 2018 will be an election year with the presidency up for grabs along with positions in the Oaxaca Congress and some state municipalities, there may well be added incentive to make the long-delayed project a reality.

Source: El Imparcial (sp) 

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