The new highway between Puerto Escondido and Oaxaca city will not open this year after all, Mexican President López Obrador announced today.
He said slides on three hillsides were triggered by heavy rain in the region in recent days, delaying its completion date to January 2024.
Just over a month ago, an optimistic López Obrador set the specific completion date of November 29, after countless delays and vague deadlines.
“It was [almost complete], but that’s nature for you. We are already working [to clear the slides] and in two or three months, in January we will inaugurate,” continued the president while presenting pictures and footage of the areas affected.
During the same press conference, the president asserted that the Ministry of Infrastructure had already notified him that the laying of a bridge, “which was the only thing missing, has already been completed.”
López Obrador was confident that the road will be ready by January, as work crews redouble their efforts in clearing and securing the slide areas.
The crews will be tasked with grading slopes to a stable angle, or creating terraces to reduce the height of cuts in the hillside.
Infrastructure officials have also proposed building a viaduct for the last part of the cut, given the complexity and instability of area.