The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a $70m loan to Panama to finance road rehabilitation and maintenance in the region.

The five-year project plans to rehabilitate 850km of priority roads and extend 1,760km of the national road network.

The project will aim for a 3% average reduction in vehicle operating costs in parts of the network and a 10% average decrease in travel time on roads rehabilitated by the programme.

Another $10m has also been granted to include a pilot component for rehabilitation and maintenance of rural roads in order to ensure access for basic services to the most isolated communities in the region, according to the IDB.

The Puebla panama plan (PPP1) multiphase road infrastructure programme (PMIV) to enhance competitiveness phase II is the second operation in a series of three phases with a total duration of 12 years of investments.