New highway less attractive since onset of rains

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Motorists eager to shave some four hours off trips between Puerto Escondido and Oaxaca city continue to use the unfinished highway connecting the two, but not without difficulty.

The newspaper El Piñero reported last week that the new highway was “fully drivable.”

The report was based on the account of a motorist who drove the road in a Nissan Sentra, who recorded the trip on a GPS device. 

But construction is ongoing and motorists will find anything from heavy vehicles and machinery, crews on foot or unmarked and unpaved stretches along the way. In addition, the rainy season has made the trip more hazardous.

Since the onset of the rains, daring drivers have recently reported that transit along the long awaited road is all but impossible. 

According to those who have traveled in the area, the unpaved sections of road are very difficult to deal with, since weather conditions have softened the surface of the dirt roads. 

Some reports say there are vehicles that remain stuck in the mud and relief only comes when another vehicle capable of towing them happens to drive by. 

Overall conditions on completed sections of the road — close to 90% of the project, according to official reports — may be better, but motorists have found themselves stuck in traffic nonetheless.

Some drivers have had to spend hours waiting while crews operating heavy machinery finish their job. Traffic can also be interrupted by large vehicles transporting sections of the last unfinished bridge and other materials. 

Those still intent in traversing the highway are advised to do so at night, between 6 p.m. and 7 a.m., as construction crews are working only during the day. 

After the state and federal governments announced that the new highway would be completed in “mid-2023,” official estimates have delayed the conclusion of the project once more, asserting that all work will be over before the year ends.

With reports by RIOaxaca and El Piñero


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