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12 June / 2003
Government Begins Building Highway to Link Puerto Cortés with Guatemalan Border

In keeping with one of his main campaign promises, President Ricardo Maduro has launched a project to extend and rehabilitate the highway from Puerto Cortes to the Guatemalan border.The project, which will cost more than Lps. 800 million, includes the construction of new stretches of highway and the repavement of existing portions. It will also include the rehabilitation of drainage systems.

Facilitating road travel between Honduras and Guatemala is part of the Puebla Panama Plan (PPP), a region-wide initiative aimed at transforming Central America and the southern states of Mexico into a magnet for development.

Maduro said the highway will bring significant benefits to the region and will play a key role in building a better future for Honduras - one of his main campaign promises.

The presidents of Central America have met 15 times over the past 16 months, he said, calling it a renewed push forward towards the integration of Central America.

“By inaugurating this stretch of highway, we’re not only strengthening the roadway, but also our mission and our commitment,” said Maduro. “The highway will directly strengthen tourism, another key axis in the government’s plan to build a better future for Honduras.”

Meanwhile, the Maduro administration is also working to design and finance a major highway between the community of Goascorán in southern Honduras and the central department of Comaygua.

The highway between Puerto Cortes and Guatemala will encourage economic development in the area by reducing operational and maintenance costs on vehicles carrying goods between the two areas. It will also ease and regulate traffic and increase driver security, while encouraging greater import and export of manufactured and agro-industrial goods, thereby creating new investment opportunities and increasing the region’s economic competitiveness.

It is also expected to increase the flow of tourists, particularly to destinations like Puerto Cortes, Omoa, Masca, Cuyamel, Tegucigalpita and Corinto, all in the department of Cortes.

The highway is financed by the Central American Bank of Economic Integration (CABEI) with funds from Mexico, the Nordic Development Fund and the Ministry of Public Works, Transportation and Housing (SOPTRAVI).

The highway is scheduled to be completed within three and a half years.


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