LA PAZ – Bolivia opened Monday the country’s first divided highway, which runs across the Altiplano to connect the provinces of La Paz and Oruro.
“We’re making history,” Bolivian President Evo Morales said at the inauguration of this infrastructure project, whose construction began four years ago and which consists of three stretches of road that add up to a total of 203 kilometers (126 miles).
The second stretch was laid by Spain’s Corsan Corviam company.
The construction cost $312.5 million, 80 percent of which was financed by a loan from the Development Bank of Latin America-CAF.
The president expressed confidence that with this new highway there will be fewer accidents and “fewer deaths,” since the old road between the two regions was one of the most dangerous in the country.
During his address, Morales slammed a number of community leaders and mayors in municipalities along the highway, who caused delays to its completion by organizing roadblocks hindering the construction company’s access to the materials it needed.
“Help us understand – how is it possible that the same people who will benefit from the highway would do everything to keep it from being built?” the president asked.
He also noted that the project forms part of the 15 divided highways scheduled to be built in landlocked Bolivia, and will be part of the corridor between the two oceans that will facilitate the shipping of Bolivian goods from ports on both the Pacific and the Atlantic.
For the inauguration of this infrastructure, authorities organized a caravan with multiple stops and with the participation of Bolivian racing drivers who recently competed in the Dakar Rally.