After years of delays and missed deadlines, the federal government is betting on another new date by which the Puerto Escondido-Oaxaca highway is to be completed.
President López Obrador declared that November 29 is the target for the long-awaited highway during a press conference Tuesday morning in Mexico City.
“I’m going to tell you once and for all that in November we are going to inaugurate it, and I want to thank San Vicente Coatlán and other towns that have helped us finish this highway,” he said.
The president added that he will look for a way to allow the people of Oaxaca to use the new toll highway at no charge. The government has not announced what the toll might be.
Recently, state and federal authorities have been offering small updates on the highly anticipated project, stating that it was “87% complete” and estimating that it would be finished “in October.”
As it stands, authorities report that all that is left is to do is some paving work and finishing a bridge.
The project has been touted as being one of great benefit to tourists and residents who travel between the two cities, reducing travel time by at least three hours.
However, as completion draws near, concerns have been raised given the impending influx of even more visitors to Puerto, an already popular destination where basic services like drinking water and wastewater and solid waste management are already overrun, with no defined planning in place.
The two-lane highway with a wide shoulder is 102.4 kilometers long and has 10 bridges, a viaduct, three tunnels, nine interchanges and two toll booths.
It will pass through the municipalities of Santa María Colotepec, San Sebastián Coatlán, San Pablo Coatlán, Miahuatlán, San Vicente Coatlán and Ejutla de Crespo.
During the press conference, the president remarked that completion of the highway will be part of the final stage of completed and delivered infrastructure projects before the end of his six-year term next year.
With the inauguration of this highway, officially known as Barranca Larga-Ventanilla, travel time is expected to be 2 1/2 hours between Puerto Escondido and Oaxaca city. It currently takes about six on either Highway 131 through Sola de Vega or Highway 175 via San José del Pacífico.