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New Highway from Puerto Vallarta to Guadalajara Approved
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July 22, 2011

SCT Infrastructure Undersecretary, Óscar de Buen Richkarday

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - Now that the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) has authorized the plans presented by the Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes (SCT), Puerto Vallarta will soon have a short cut to Guadalajara - a new highway that will make it possible to make the journey in two hours and a half hours.

SCT Infrastructure Undersecretary, Óscar de Buen Richkarday, confirmed the approval of the plans by SEMARNAT and said that resources will be sought next month during discussions regarding the 2012 budget for road infrastructure in ten West Central states.

The new highway project had stopped because of opposition by environmentalist groups who felt that the road would affect the jaguar habitat in the Sierra de Vallejo, located within the boundaries of Jalisco and Nayarit.

However, after complying with the observations made by the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Communications reports they are ready to make the final design and release the right of way on the route between Jala-Compostela-Las Varas and Puerto Vallarta.

Respect for Ecology

The official said that it took a couple of months for SEMARNAT to approve the plan, which is very important because the highway will go through a protected natural area in the Sierra de Vallejo. Semarnat had concerns about the effect on some species of animals, and it took a lot of work to obtain approval, but it is now defined.

It was also announced that the new highway shortcut between Puerto Vallarta and the state capital would have four lanes, so it will be concessioner to private enterprise for an investment yet to be defined, but which could exceed 70 million pesos.

The line is parallel to the current route and would have the advantage of having two lanes in each direction, avoiding the congestion generated today in the Chapalilla-Las Varas Guayabitos, and Puerto Vallarta areas.

The SCT has conducted several studies from 1995 to date and now has a definite trajectory. "I hope that, if all goes well, we can start in the coming year," the Infrastructure Undersecretary said.

Several attempts have been made to implement a shortcut between Puerto Vallarta and the state capital; to date it is the scenic route via Las Palmas-Mascota and Guadalajara, which takes a little more than 3 hours.

The new route will shorten the trip to two and a half hours by cutting out sections of curves and widening sections of the asphalt, which will make the road trip easier for motorists.