Private firms to monitor expropriation of right-of-way for new highway

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The federal Ministry of Communications and Transportation (SICT) has invited four companies to monitor the process of expropriation of land for the right-of-way and additional areas for the Barranca Larga-Ventanilla highway that will connect Oaxaca city with Puerto Escondido.

The inauguration of the 103-kilometer highway is now scheduled for December.

As of this week, the agency estimates the project to be 83.9% complete. Representing an investment of 8.3 billion pesos, the new highway will have 10 bridges, three tunnels, two toll booths, two viaducts and 15 junctions, benefitting more than 100,000 inhabitants of 11 communities in the region and the region’s tourist activity.

According to the SICT, the communities where the already agreed-upon expropriations are to be carried out are Santa María Colotepec, San Francisco Coatlán and Santa Catarina Coatlán.

The  project was concessioned in 2009 to a subsidiary of Grupo Omega and in 2012 it was transferred to ICA. After the latter failed to fulfill commitments, in 2017 it was assigned to the National Infrastructure Fund (Fonadin), which has the task of finishing it this year (it divided the concluding works into four sections, choosing through tenders the firms Mota Engil, Coconal, Vise and Grupo Rubio).

Some of the work to be carried out by the company in charge of following up on the expropriation tasks, initiated during the current federal administration, are identification and field survey of the boundaries in each area, investigation and topographic demarcation of affected properties and replanning of the projected expropriated areas’ layout.

Mayran Engineering and Construction, Construction and Consultancy in Works and Services, Temacsa Engineering and Lordaneli Consulting and Engineering are the companies invited by the SICT to participate. The date for delivery of technical and economic proposals is October 27.

Despite expectations to conclude in the next two months, the work program established by the SICT specifies that “it should be considered that the study will be carried out within a period of 60 calendar days, with an estimated start date of November 1, 2022 . . .”

This indicates that the expropriation process will be completed the moment the highway is concluded.

Given a poor record of keeping to scheduled completion dates, it’s more likely that the highway will be finished some time in 2023.

President López Obrador said earlier this month that the highway could be operational by the end of November, but only if longstanding agrarian disputes between the municipalities of San Vicente Coatlán and Sola de Vega can be resolved.

It’s an ambitious hope given that the conflict is at least 47 years old.

With reports from El Economista

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