Abinader: Baní highway to be expanded in 2025

President Luis Abinader announced during the Monday press meeting on 1 April 2024, government plans to expand the San Cristobal-Baní Sanchez highway to double its size, or to four lanes in each direction. The expansion would be from Baní to the entrance to the San Jose de Ocoa intersection, and in the future all the way to Azua. The funds would be included in the 2025 National Budget.

The President says all the new developments to the west of Santo Domingo will demand a better road connection.

“All the projects that are being carried out for the South are going to increase [the flow of vehicles],” Abinader explained in LA Semanal con la Prensa.

President Abinader expects the Baní ringroad to be completed by the end of 2024. The ringroad will reduce travel time to the west by about a half an hour. The San Cristobal and Azua (completed in February 2023) bypasses are open, but travelers from the capital city still need to endure intense traffic when crossing the city of Baní to continue west.

“One of the reasons why the completion of the work has been delayed is because the budget that was made several years ago did not have the specifications of the work,” explained Abinader. Due to that mishap, a new tender had to be held.

In April 2023, the Ministry of Public Works (MOPC) reported that it opened another tender for more than RD$3 billion for the completion of the construction of that work.

In a statement, it was reported that it was intended to build fundamental parts of the road that were ignored in the original contract, such as bridges, traffic distributors, water crossings and the toll station. In addition, the variation in prices for labor, equipment and items to be used in the work, among other aspects, were taken into account, considerably increasing the cost of the project.

When the original project was tendered in September 2016, the MOPC had stipulated a budget close to RD$4 billion. However, “inexplicably, it was awarded for nearly RD$2.2 billion, just over 50% of what was expected,” the statement indicated at the time.

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2 April 2024