The Dominican Republic's senate has approved an amendment to increase the budget for the El Coral highway concession contract by US$88.5mn.
The public works ministry originally approved the project in 2007, with a budget of US$361mn. However, in June 2008 the project was split into two phases, and consortium Autopista del Coral signed a contract worth US$272mn in August of the same year.
The phase II addendum includes expanding the highway in westernmost La Altagracia province from two lanes to four, as well as building a four-lane bridge over the Chavon river, state news agency Antena reported.
Legislators also approved a change allowing the state to pay off the consortium's investment in local currency rather than US dollars.
Consortium Autopista del Coral, which includes Brazil's Odebrecht and local firm Hormigones Moya, is building the highway between cities La Romana and Higuey and coastal tourist area Punta Cana.