By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – The state of Goias, in the Center-West region of Brazil, is apologizing to residents and motorists passing through the state for the poor conditions of its highways.
“The government of Goiás apologizes to drivers and passengers. We received the state (financially) broken and the roads full of potholes. We will rebuild Goiás,” says one of the large billboard board on a highway near the entrance of the city of Pirenópolis, 121 km from the state capital, Goiania.
Recently-elected state governor, Ronaldo Caiado, admits that the conditions of the state’s highways are terrible.
“The quality of the roads in Goiás is the worst possible because it fed the ‘money-making machine’ of the previous administration,” said Caiado during a TV interview last week on government-operated Local TV Brasil.
Caiado said that while he has already asked the federal government for help and is already seeking price estimates from construction companies to repair and maintain the highways, the situation is not likely to improve significantly in the very short-term.
“And so, what do I have to do? I have to put a sign on each road saying: The state of Goiás apologizes for the potholes in our roads and a totally destroyed economy,” Caiado said smiling.
The repair of the country’s major highways has been one of the demands by unhappy truck drivers.
On April 16th, the federal government in an attempt to avoid another truckers’ strike, announced several measures to improve the working conditions of these professionals. Among them was the allocation of R$2 million to be used in the maintenance of highways and continuation of construction works.
“This budget will be fundamental so that we can maintain important highways and continue works that save lives and that will improve the quality of life and reduce transportation time,” said Infrastructure Minister, Tarcisio Freitas.
With the poor conditions of highways in many parts of the country, Governor Caiado’s idea may be followed by the leaders of other states.