Deputies to probe Dominican highway’s ‘ballooned’ US$2.5B cost
Santo Domingo.- Nine deputies of the Dominican Republic’s opposition party (PRD) on Monday called for an investigation into the management contract for the Santo Domingo-Samana highway, which they affirm has ballooned its cost to more than US$2.5 billion
Juan Jose Morales and Alexis Jiménez, spokesmen for the lawmakers, complain that taxpayers have paid for 80% of the road’s cost while the contract will be still be in effect another 27 years, for which the country will end up paying more than US$2.5 billion for the work originally budgeted at US$150 million.
The legislators said they’ll seek approval for a probe in Tuesday’s session into the contractor Autopista del Nordeste, CxA, which they affirm will end up receiving more than 2.5 billion dollars on an investment of just US$150 million. “It’s a grand scam against the State which makes us feel that we are back to the colonial era when we swapped gold for little mirrors."
Morales said the State has paid “shadow subsidies” during the three years of toll collection from the few vehicles that use the highway, which he called a "country road" with construction defects such as flooding which places motorists at risk when it rains.