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Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto cut the ribbon on the completed 2.3bn-peso (US$121.2mn) project to expand a 14.2km stretch of the Mexico City-Puebla highway from six to 12 lanes on Thursday.
The upgraded stretch of the highway runs through the municipalities of La Paz, Valle de Chalco and Ixtapaluca in Mexico state to the east of Mexico City.
The project also included works to build an interchange on the Eje 6 road to connect the toll highway to a parallel non-toll federal highway, works to modernize three overpasses, as well as the construction of 21 footbridges, the government said in a release.
With the completion of the expansion project, travel time on this road will be reduced from 1 hour and 15 minutes to just 25 minutes, the president said in his speech.
The Mexico City-Puebla highway forms part of the network of highways that connect the country's capital with the states of Puebla, Tlaxcala, Oaxaca and Veracruz, as well as Mexico's southeast region, and it has average daily traffic of 150,800 vehicles, according to the government.
According to Peña Nieto, this project is just one of 12 major road infrastructure works planned for Mexico City's metropolitan area that will be completed during his six-year term, which will entail a 40bn peso (US$2.1bn) investment on the part of the government. These projects form part of a comprehensive government strategy aimed at boosting Mexico's competitiveness, improving connectivity, and bolstering the quality of life of the population.
Other projects funded totally or partially by the federal government, such as the construction of Mexico City's future international airport, the Mexico-Toluca passenger train and the Mexicable cable car system launched last week, directly benefit the Mexico City metropolitan area. Most of those projects will not be affected by the projected cuts to the 2017 federal budget.