The Pacific Corridor is the most important land route in Central America traversing 3,241km across Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. It crosses 6 borders and is the shortest route between Mexico and Panama.
Due to its strategic location and to improve the safety of the route, the IDB first evaluated the Pacific Corridor in 2010, supported by iRAP, and identified high-risk sections. Based on the results, an investment plan was created to reduce crash costs and save lives.
In the years that followed, from 2011 to 2020, the IDB invested around USD$1.76 billion dollars to carry out 30 logistics and road infrastructure operations in the 7 countries.
The new project, iRAP Pacific Corridor 2.0, will assess the safety of 2,153km from Guatemala to Panama, to obtain a new Star Rating. The objective is to identify high-risk road sections, specific measures can be selected and prioritized to improve road safety, as well as create a new investment plan that will help to significantly reduce road deaths and serious injuries.
Using specially equipped vehicles, software and highly trained analysts, iRAP teams are conducting detailed road inspections including topography and road attribute coding.
By using the same methodology as 10 years ago, iRAP Pacific Corridor 2.0 will establish an objective comparison of progress in road safety levels and a detailed understanding of the impact of infrastructure investments.
With this project and the implementation of the respective measures, it is estimated that 65,000 deaths and serious injuries could be avoided, and savings of USD$265 million dollars generated by reducing road crashes on the corridor in the next 20 years.
In March 2021, the results of this ambitious project will be available, and serve as a powerful tool to direct infrastructure safety improvements for the benefit of Central American countries and inform road infrastructure investment to save lives.
Read more on the project in the IDB blog here.
Improving the safety of roads in Latin America and the Caribbean is the major focus of an agreement between the IDB and iRAP signed in February.