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The European Investment Bank (EIB) approved a US$136mn loan for a project to upgrade and expand the Pista Juan Pablo II avenue, a major road in Managua, Nicaragua's capital city.
The announcement was made by the country's vice-president and first lady Rosario Murillo, who said finance minister Iván Acosta will sign the loan agreement in Luxembourg on May 15.
The project entails rehabilitating 9.55km of the avenue by repaving it with hydraulic concrete, and widening it from three to six lanes, two of which will be preferential lanes for public transport.
The initiative requires an estimated investment of US$263mn. It also involves the construction of five overpasses that will be built at the following intersections: Rotonda del Periodista roundabout, ENEL-Central, Rubén Darío roundabout, the Plásticos Robelo traffic lights on the Carretera Norte highway, and the Santo Domingo roundabout.
In addition to the EIB financing, the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (Cabei) is providing a US$105mn loan, which was approved in January. The remaining US$21mn will come from the national government and the Managua municipality.
The construction works are scheduled to last three years.
The Pista Juan Pablo II avenue is one of Managua's most important roads and it suffers from significant traffic congestion. The rehabilitation project is one of a number of initiatives the local government is planning to develop in and around Managua to improve connectivity and reduce traffic problems.
The announcement of two more projects will be made next week, according to Murillo.