The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a US$105 million loan to finance the paving of a key route in Paraguay. The San Juan Nepomuceno-Empalme Ruta Nacional No. 6 links the Departments of Caazapá, Itapúa and Alto Paraná and the country's main river ports.

The scheme will see the construction, improvement and paving of 84.7 km of main roadway and 4.8 km of access roads. It includes a land registry and the review of final engineering designs, including adjusting the designs to technical criteria and standards for road safety as well as geographical and weather conditions in the region.

The project also includes the administration of the programme, including technical and administrative support and training for the unit of the highway Department in the Ministry of Public Works and Communications that will carry out the scheme, technical and administrative support and a plan to help maintain protected wild lands for 15 km on each side of the road.

It is estimated that the project will reduce travel time in the area by more than 60% and the costs of operating the vehicles by nearly 50%, and will eliminate all seasonal restrictions on the use of the corridor.

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