The new highway project in Oaxaca (Wa-Ha-Ka) state has been at the tip of our tongues for some time now. This new highway will connect the inland state capital, Oaxaca City to the coastal cities of Puerto Escondido and Huatulco. Stated for completion at the end of 2015, the highway will decrease travel times and increase coastal real estate values. Current travel time from Huatulco to Oaxaca City is about 7 hours and it is estimated that this time will be reduced to only a 3 hour drive. The new highway is the last piece of billions of infrastructure dollars spent that will put the area on the world map.
We will admit that the completion of the new highway has not happened as fast as we hoped but the great news is that it is still happening and happening now. The question many are asking is when will it be completed and what is done now? ICA, one of the best construction companies in Mexico, is now on the job and keeping construction moving at a speedy and steady pace. We have broken the highway into 4 separate legs or stages of progress: Section 1 is the section from the Huatulco International Airport to the Hotel Zone in Huatulco, Section 2, from the Huatulco International Airport to the Puerto Angel / Pochutla intersection, Section 3 from the Puerto Angel / Pochutla intersection to Puerto Escondido and the last section from near Puerto Escondido to Oaxaca City.
The section of road from the Huatulco International Airport to Huatulco is where we have seen the most progress and success of the new highway as it is fully completed from the airport to the main entrance into Huatulco. The area just past this point that continues on to the resort area is being worked on intensely now. They used the cut outs from the old sections of the highway and connected them together by blasting next routes through the mountains resulting in a straighter and wider roadway. The section also includes new medians and turning lanes by the airport as well as some new topes by the airport and university. The benefit is obvious taking what used to be approximately 25 minute drive and turning it into only a 10 minute drive, allowing residents and tourists to be in their homes and hotel rooms only 15 to 20 minutes after having their bags in their hands at the airport.
The next section is the roadway heading west from the airport towards Puerto Angel and Puerto Escondido. Unfortunately we have very little construction to report on the part of the project. The plan still exists but we are unsure of the timeframe. The highway has been maintained and one of the bridges has recently been resurfaced but it looks like this leg will be the last one to be worked on and completed.
Driving further west the section from the Puerto Angel / Pochutla intersection to Puerto Escondido is quite exciting with a lot of progress. Approximately 14 kilometers after the intersection there is evidence of the new highway with the start of many sections of highways that are completed to different stages. Some are packed subsurface sections but many are fully completed with fresh asphalt. The many different pieces are separated due to a bridge needed to be built or adjustments needing to be made in a community. On our last drive to Puerto Escondido we counted 7 new bridges that had been completed and it is hard to miss the new overpass for the highway north to Oaxaca City. About 26 kilometers out of Puerto Escondido the highway is fully completed and operational with new medians and painted lines bringing a very free flowing feeling until coming to the last bridge that throttles it back to 2 lanes when entering into Puerto Escondido.
The final leg from near Puerto Escondido to Oaxaca City is one of the most challenging as it rises up and over the Sierra Madre Mountains to the Oaxaca valley. On the Puerto Escondido side they have completed the overpass, a gateway North to Oaxaca City. Throughout the route construction is very busy with many different sections being worked on at the same time. Even when you are arriving to Oaxaca City through the San Jose del Pacifico road you can see a lot of workers and equipment around.
From Oaxaca City they've completed 65 kilometers to Ejutla de Crespo. The 103 kilometers from Ejutla to Federal Highway 200 has had very important progress and is projected to be ready for December 2015. With this section completed, the Ejutla to Fed 200 highway being completed will reduce time from Oaxaca City to Huatulco to 3.5 or 4 hours.
We are very happy to see the progress that is happening now with the Federal Highway. There is large machinery and trucks cutting and moving earth in multiple locations in every leg. We invite you to come see the progress yourself. It is easy to predict the benefits the top emerging markets of Huatulco and Puerto Escondido will receive upon completion of the new highway. Combine billions of infrastructure dollars with low oceanfront real estate prices in consistently hot, sunny and friendly paradise makes it obvious why purchasing real estate today in the region is a wise brick and mortar investment.