San Luis, Son. – With a wave of a flag, Sonora Gov. Eduardo Bours Castelo and San Luis Rio Colorado Mayor Ruben Espino initiated construction last week on a new highway that will bring the popular Sonora beach destinations of El Golfo de Santa Clara and Rocky Point closer for Yuma-area visitors.
Humberto Valdez Ruy Sanchez, secretary of infrastructure and urban development, said the new highway will shorten the drive by about 14 miles to El Golfo and by about 44 miles from El Golfo to Rocky Point.
With the aid of blueprints, Ruy Sanchez explained to Gov. Bours Castelo and Mayor Espino that six companies competed in the bid process to build the new Golfo de Santa Clara-Estacion Doctor highway but only three of them turned in proposals. The best one was submitted by Pinfra, which will now build, operate and maintain the highway for the next 30 years.
Pinfra will invest about $25 million on the 37 miles of road. It will also be responsible for the construction of a bypass road to connect to the Mexico Commercial II international port of entry being built across the border from the new San Luis, Ariz., commercial port of entry that is being built east of that city.
The new highway will be two lanes wide but in the future may be widened to four.
The new highway will eventually connect to a new road between El Golfo and Puerto Peñasco that began construction in early 2007.
The head of infrastructure and urban development at the state level said that the drive between the Commercial Port II to El Golfo using the new road will be 56 miles. Currently, the distance is 70.6 miles.
The highway is scheduled to be completed by August 2009, although it may take one month longer than planned.
He said in addition to the San Luis-Estacion Doctor highway, a 1.5-mile boulevard will be constructed at the entrance to the town of El Golfo de Santa Clara and a four-lane roadway with a median strip and lighting.
Their intention is to provide El Golfo with a entry way worthy of its visitors, he said.
Alfonso Cordova Murrieta, general director of road construction for SIDEUR, also discussed the bypass roadway that will connect Ejido Islita with the San Luis-Estacion Doctor highway. The road will begin close to the Commercial Port II. Cordova Murrieta said it would be 6.5 miles long.
Road specifications call for the construction of that roadway to be two lanes wide with shoulders. The total cost of that road is expected to be $3 million with funds from the state government through Plan Sonora Proyecta (PSP).
The construction company Exploraciones Mineras del Desierto S.A. de C.V. expects to complete its work there in May 2009. Ruy Sanchez explained that the bypass road will arch from El Golfo de Santa Clara until it connects to the Sonoita Highway as close as possible to the location of the Commercial Port II.
Another section of the bypass road, approximately 8 miles long, will be built by Pinfra.
The total investment for the roadwork by the state government and Pinfra will be nearly $42 million, Ruy Sanchez said.
He added that the use of the bypass road will be free. However, the new road to El Golfo will have a toll.
At the end of the ceremony, the governor said this was a great opportunity for Sonora.
“With this construction we will have another tourist attraction important to the state,” Bours Castelo said. “I would even say that it will be the most important one in the state, comparable to San Carlos because of its views – what San Luis Rio Colorado has, what El Golfo de Santa Clara has, with the advantage that Rocky Point is close to the U.S. We will have a first-rate beach and highway.”
Bours Castelo said that this construction will undoubtedly end the serious problem with unemployment and competition that the city faces.