Mexican government officials are optimistic that the country's newest highway will improve the economy of a Mexican region that is troubled by drug trafficking and violence.
Construction is wrapping up on a $2.2 billion highway made up of more than 100 bridges and 61 tunnels. The highway is designed to bring people, cargo and legitimate trade safely through a mountain range known until now for marijuana, opium poppies and an accident prone road called the devil's backbone. The highway is 140 miles and will link port cities on the Gulf of Mexico and the pacific by a 12 hour drive.
"We are opening up this part of the country to about 40 million Mexicans, many of those that would like to see, or would like to visit tourist destinations like Mazatlan," said Francisco Cordoba of the Sinaloa State Tourism Secretary.
Five million cars are expected to pass through the highway, which is more than four times the number on the old road.