DR1 - President Leonel Fernandez braved the rain yesterday to formally begin the construction of the highway that will link the south and Cibao regions. The mountain road will cost US$293 million and construction has been entrusted to the Brazilian company, Norberto Odebrecht and Rizek Associates, and the project also includes 15 new bridges.
During the ceremony, Fernandez said that the new road would have a positive effect on farming and ecotourism. He said driving times will be reduced by an hour and a half, with a 76km reduction from the current 159km route that obliges travelers to pass through Santo Domingo before heading north.
The two-lane 83km highway runs from Cruce de Piera Blanca, Juan Adrian in Monsenor Nouel (Bonao), Rancho Arriba, Sabana Larga, San Jose de Ocoa to Cruce de Ocoa. Driving speed on the highway will be between 40 and 60 kilometers an hour, due to the many curves of the mountain road.
The construction is expected to last two years, according to Public Works Minister Victor Diaz Rua. Read original at DR1.