Two highway projects developed under a PPP model, requiring a combined investment of 3.58bn pesos (US$180mn), were opened Tuesday in a ceremony attended by President Enrique Peña Nieto.
The 30km-long Tepic bypass in Nayarit state, which connects the Guadalajara-Tepic highway to the Tepic-Mazatlán toll highway, was built at a cost of 3.5bn pesos. The project forms part of a package of highways on Mexico's west coast that were awarded under a 30-year concession to Concesionaria Autopista Guadalajara-Tepic, a subsidiary of holding company Impulsora de Desarollo y el Empleo en América Latina (IDEAL).
Construction works for the bypass were commissioned to Mexican firm ICA in 2012.
According to authorities, the Tepic bypass will benefit over 380,000 users, reducing travel times by half.
Meanwhile, the 31km Tepic-San Blas highway, which links Nayarit capital Tepic to the beach resort of San Blas, required a 1.36mn-peso investment. The contract was awarded last year as a 30-year concession to Red de Carreteras de Occidente (RCO), Mexico's largest private highway concessionaire.
Thanks to the new highway, the total travel time between Tepic and San Blas will now be reduced to 18 minutes, which will benefit the area's tourism sector, according to authorities.
"These works will bring more investment to Nayarit, particularly in regards to tourism services in Tepic, Bahía de Banderas and Nuevo San Blas. There will be more hotel infrastructure projects and more jobs, which will ultimately benefit families in the state," President Peña Nieto said at the opening ceremony.
Both highway projects are included in Mexico's 2014-2018 national infrastructure program (PNI), which as of the second half of last year was significantly behind schedule, according to reports.
PICTURED: President Enrique Peña Nieto at the opening ceremony of the Tepic bypass in Mexico's Nayarit state.