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Dominican hoteliers eye US$300.0M highway Santiago – Puerto Plata to drum up business

Santo Domingo.- The major executives of the Playa Dorada hotels on Wednesday proposed a new road to link Santiago and Puerto Plata province, to reduce the time and cost for motorists headed to the resort region known as the “Bride of the Atlantic.”

They said the ‘Atlantic Highway’ road project -to be built by the government- would include the 18 kilometers from the Santiago Beltway to regional highway #5, just five minutes from the resort area.

The cost for the four lane, 35 kilometer road could reach US$300 million, financed through the RD-Vial state road trust.

Playa Dorada Hotel Association president Marcos Villanueva said once built the road will be a major boost to the region’s tourism, which will be closer to Santiago’s airport and especially the capital, reducing travel time to and from Puerto Plata to just two hours.

The Ministry of Public Works has announced that it will expand to four lanes the 63 km Puerto Plata-Navarrette highway to reduce travel times for those arriving by the new Amber Cove Cruise Ship terminal that opens in October that is expected to bring around 300,000 tourists a year to visit the northern region.

The hoteliers say that the new Autopista del Atlantico would mean a reduction from an hour travel time at present to 30 minutes. The highway is estimated to cost US$300 million. The highway would make it possible to get from Santo Domingo to Puerto Plata in 2.5 hours, down from the present 3.5 hours. This would be comparable to Punta Cana that now is 2.5 hours from Santo Domingo after the construction of the Coral Highway.

The proposal for the Atlantic Highway would start at Km. 18 of the new Santiago Bypass and would end five kilometers from Playa Dorada. It would be a four-lane highway that would cross the Cordillera Septentrional, the northern mountain range.

The businessmen say that the proposed toll of RD$200 would pay for 60% of the needed investment. They estimate 10,000 vehicles a day will use the highway in the first year, increasing to 17,500 by the 10th year. They want the highway project to receive funding from the Fiduciaria RD Vial, a fund created from tolls collected in the Dominican Republic.

The businessmen consider the highway a priority for the relaunching of Puerto Plata as a tourist destination. The location of the new road would also connect to the Puerto Plata International Airport, making it possible for passengers to enter and depart by different airports. They point out that most of the land that the road would cross is owned by the Central Bank and are not in use. The possibility of the construction of the highway was first proposed by the Ministry of Public Works that has carried out the preliminary studies.

Source: DT, DR1, Hoy

July 16, 2015

Category: DR News |

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