Super Highway 201? To Oaxaca
Work is proceeding on the super highway that will connect Puerto Escondido with Oaxaca, but not at the pace one would expect if the project were to be completed by the end of 2014 as per the contract the ICA construction company has with the federal government. According to the concession, the 104 km, 3-lane toll road is to be built within two years. ICA will then enjoy 30 years of benefits collecting the tolls on this joint federal and private project. (See ¡Viva Puerto! #8)
Construction began in November 2012 and is now going on 24 hours a day, seven days a week on the stretch between Ventanilla, a few kilometers outside of Puerto, and the Colotepec River near the county seat of Santa María Colotepec. Work is also going on, to a lesser extent, between the western shore of the river and San Baltazar Loxicha to the north.
As of February, work was just beginning on the service road outside of Santa Martha, San Baltazar Loxicha. The highway will mostly bypass San Baltazar and continue north through San Antonio Lalana, San Pablo Coatlán. However, there are no roads in this mountainous area, so a network of service roads must first be built to bring in the heavy machinery and workforce for the actual highway construction.
When the highway is completed, it will be possible to drive from Puerto to Oaxaca in less than two hours. At present it takes five or six hours via Sola de Vega.