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The national highway infrastructure plan for 2018-24 that Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) unveiled in Oaxaca state over the weekend will have three main priorities.
The first is to provide maintenance on existing road infrastructure, as well as to complete all those roadworks that have been suspended or are still ongoing. Paving all unpaved roads linking to municipal seats, using local labor force, will be the second priority. The third will be the national federal highway plan, which will be focused on regions of the country lacking road infrastructure.
According to the government, the objectives of the program will be to foster regional development and territorial planning; to create a comprehensive, efficient, and safe intermodal transport and communications network; improve the country's road competitiveness; guarantee that road infrastructure can efficiently link to ports, railways and airports; and solve problem infrastructure in urban areas to allow for more efficient and safe traffic.
ACTIONS FOR 2019
Regarding the national federal highway plan (PNCF), the government is planning to build 5,500km of highways in 2019. This effort will require investments of 14.2bn pesos (US$714mn)
Another 10.5bn pesos will be invested next year to complete 22 highways, while construction works will continue on another 48 roads.
A program to maintain and rehabilitate rural roads will see an investment of 8.17bn pesos next year, and will include works on 600 roads. This program is separate from the one targeting roads linking municipal seats, according to the government.
Another 20 highways operated by private concession holders will see an investment of 27.3bn pesos in public and private funds.
According to infrastructure undersecretary Cedric Escalante, the national government will review different options to make space for more private investment in road infrastructure.
AMLO and his transport and communications minister, Javier Jiménez Espriú, spent Saturday visiting the Mixe indigenous area of Oaxaca's northern region to launch works on a project to pave roads linking to municipal seats.
Next year, the program will be aimed at building 685km of roads, requiring a 2.23bn-peso investment and benefitting 50 municipal seats.
The goal of the program is for all municipal seats throughout the country to have paved access roads by the end of AMLO's term in 2024. Under this effort, some 300 municipal seats located in Chiapas, Chihuahua, Durango, Guerrero, and Oaxaca will be benefitted. Some 188 of the municipal seats to be benefitted are located in Oaxaca.
The works will be carried out by local labor and managed by municipal and/or communal authorities, with technical support and training from the transport and communications ministry (SCT). Some 14,000 direct and 10,500 indirect jobs are expected to be created next year.
Pictured: AMLO (center) attends a ceremony in Oaxaca to launch the program to pave roads linking to municipal seats. (CREDIT: Gobierno de México)