Economy July 6, 2015 | 9:06 am

Samana highway ‘shadow toll’ takes US$175.5M in just 4 years

Santo Domingo.- On widespread concern over the “onerous” contractto manage the Santo Domingo-Samana Highway (Northeast), Public Works minister GonzaloCastillo says the road should be under government control.

"We have to negotiate with the contractor to pass controlto the government through the RD-Vial program and lower the cost of current tolls,"the official said.

Castillo said the formula would rid the country of havingto pay the subsidy known as the "shadow toll," to the contractor Autopistasdel Nordeste, C. A., as the result of the road’s lower-than-expected trafficflow.

He said the subsidy has cost the country RD$7.9 billion(US$175.5 million) in just four years, “which exceeds the cost of building the 106-kilometerhighway.”

And although the road cuts the travel time between SantoDomingo and Samana, it has the country’s highest tolls at more than RD$800 roundtrip.

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