Nicaragua will improve the efficiency and safety of its transportation system and advance regional integration with a $39.2 million loan approved by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
The project will help reduce vehicle operating costs, increase travel speeds, reduce accident rates and will conduct studies on the impact of climate change on infrastructure. Other components include institution building, road maintenance and road safety.
Some 437,000 vehicles travel over the national road system, carrying more than 13 million tons of freight annually, of which more than 38 percent is foreign trade cargo.
A major component of this project includes the improvement of 44.6 kilometers of roads from La Paz Centro-Malpaisillo (37.2 km), of the primary trunk network, in the departments of León and Chinandega; and the Miralagos-Cuyalí (7.47 km) highway, of the primary feeder network, located in the Department of Jinotega.
The country’s road network system is characterized by poor conditions of both paved and unpaved roads. This translates into high transport costs, posing an obstacle to national efforts to boost economic growth and reduce poverty.
According to data from the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure (MTI) published in the Red Vial Nicaragua report of 2011, the road network has a total length of 23,647.1 km, of which only 3,150.8 km (13.3 percent) is paved.