Lima's city hall opened a bypass on the Peruvian capital's northern outskirts, the latest public work to be inaugurated this year as the municipal government seeks to upgrade infrastructure in the city of 9mn inhabitants.
The 200m-diameter, four-lane Naranjal bypass (intercambio vial) over the North Pan American Highway, which includes two 39m road bridges and two 72.4m pedestrian bridges, will benefit 1mn people by handling 120,000 vehicles daily, according to a statement posted on the municipality website. The municipality added it plans a 4,500m2 skate park in the area.
"This is an important project which will improve living conditions for all of Lima," Lima mayor Luis Castañeda said in the statement. "There were a lot of traffic jams in this area, and this modern bypass will speed up transit."
The municipality also plans to start work shortly on a 20km stretch of the central highway – including nine bypasses – linking the Ramiro Prialé highway to the Los Angeles bridge in the district of Chaclacayo, Castañeda said. The central highway links Lima to the central Andean regions of Junín and Pasco, home to the country's largest zinc-lead mines.
The investment underscores the city's drive to unsnarl its traffic jams by Castañeda, Lima's mayor from 2003-2010, who took office again in January 2015 after being re-elected to a third term.
The municipality, which earlier this year inaugurated the US$57mn Veintiocho de Julio bypass and the Santa Rosa tunnels, also plans to complete the 800m Benavides tunnel by September.
In other infrastructure news, President Ollanta Humala, who is scheduled to end his five-year mandate at the end of the month, said a 2.5bn-sol (US$760mn) investment will guarantee access to potable water services for 100% of Lima's population.
Since 2011, the government has worked on eight potable water projects in the capital, five of which have been completed, Humala said during an inauguration ceremony of a 345mn-sol investment in potable water and sewerage projects in the Lima region's province of Huarochirí.
Lima's state water company Sedapal has come under fire for being unable to finance its 9bn-sol portfolio of potable water and sewerage projects. About 700,000 of the city's 9mn residents lack access to potable water and 1mn lack sewerage services, according to state water regulator Sunass.
"We have to ensure the next pipelines are installed, so this project keeps moving forward and isn't halted," Humala said. "It cost us a great deal of effort to overcome the bureaucracy in Sedapal, the ministries and allocate the funding."
Humala's government has invested 20bn soles in water and sewerage since 2011 to lift access to potable water services to 87% of the country's 30mn population from 77% five years ago, according to the housing and construction ministry.
President-elect Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, who is scheduled to take office July 28, said his government will place an emphasis on water infrastructure projects to close the Andean country's inequality gap. Kuczynski, a former banker and cabinet chief who won the June 5 elections, has pledged to fastrack 15-20 delayed infrastructure projects totaling US$18bn in investment