The Inter-American Development Bank has approved a $53m loan to Colombia to help build an alternative road link between the towns of San Francisco and Mocoa.

The 45.6km road in the country’s south will provide a 24 hours-a-day connectivity between the two towns and will replace a section whose upgrade would be very costly.

The road is expected to cut travel time from 2.5 hours to 1.5 hours as well as the average number of accidents from 23 to 12 per year and is expected to improve the area’s economy.

In addition, the road is expected to improve integration of the area with the country as well as with Ecuador, Peru and Brazil.