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Road opens to the Pacific

The Bolivian portion of a major new paved highway linking La Paz, Bolivia, with the Peruvian port of Ilo is scheduled to be completed in June.

The new road is the second linking this landlocked country with the Pacific. A 600 km road between La Paz and the Chilean port of Arica was completed three years ago. The Bolivian portions of both roads were built with the help of IDB financing.

The new road, which crosses the Bolivian border at the town of Desaguadero near Lake Titicaca, was constructed by the Brazilian firm Queiroz Galvão. The highway construction includes measures to protect the environment as well as archeological sites, in particular the ruins of the pre-Inca ceremonial center of Tiwanaku.

The $95 million in IDB financing for the road also includes a highway to the country’s northeast lowlands, a major agricultural area.

Completion of the road will help Bolivia export nontraditional products and reduce domestic transportation costs of staple goods such as meat, rice, soybeans, corn, bananas, coffee, cacao and fruits.

The Peruvian side of the new highway, measuring 397 km, was completed last year.

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