Azuay prefect Lloret demands ‘full restoration’ of the Cuenca-Girón-Machala highway

Jan 3, 2024 | 0 comments

Calling it a “critically important link to the coast,” Azuay Province Prefect Juan Cristóbal Lloret is demanding that the government make immediate repairs to the Cuenca-Girón-Machala highway. The highway has been closed repeatedly recently as a result of heavy rain.

A new rockslide closed the Cuenca-Girón-Machala highway on Tuesday.

“This roadway has been neglected for years and we see the result in the past two weeks,” says Lloret. “The highway has been closed more than it has been open, disrupting the flow of travelers and goods between Cuenca and Machala. It is time for a full restoration.”

The highway was closed again on Tuesday afternoon due to new rockfalls in two locations in Azuay and El Oro Provinces.

Although most of the closures have occurred south of the Yunguilla Valley and Santa Isabel, Lloret says the highway between Cuenca and Santa Isabel is also “falling apart and in critical need of repair and resurfacing.”

The Transportation Ministry has identified 31 points requiring repair or rebuilding of the highway, Lloret says. “These have been known for years but remediation efforts have been inadequate. Thousands of people who planned to travel between Cuenca and Machala and Santa Rosa during the holidays had to cancel their plans and transporters who carry goods from Puerto Bolívar to Cuenca were forced use the Cajas highway, which has also experienced closures.”

Lloret says that $100 million to $120 million is required for restoration of the route. “We are past the time for cheap patches that don’t last. We need a commitment on the part of the government to restore this vital link between the Cuenca and the coast.”

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