Trans-Chaco Highway

Trans-Chaco Highway, one of the most famous roads in South America

Trans-Chaco Highway is one of the most famous roads in South America. It runs from Asunción to the Bolivian border. After decades of notoriety as one of the worst roads, it was paved by 2008.

The road, also known as Ruta Nacional 9 or Ruta Nacional Número 9 "Dr. Carlos Antonio López" is 470 miles (760 km) long. It links Asunción with the Bolivian border in the Chaco. The road crosses the departments of Central, Presidente Hayes, and Boquerón and was inaugurated in 1961. For decades, roughly before 2009, this was known as South America's worst road. Cars and buses could get stuck for days on end, especially in the mud during the rainy season.

In 2007 the road was completely paved. However, the asphalt layer was so thin that within a year large sections of it were subject to rapid deterioration and cracks and deep potholes are visible again. Now it’s again a dusty, cracked and pot-holed highway. The drive takes a lot of concentration, anticipating the pot-holes ahead, weaving to avoid them. The road is almost straight, but there are never ending potholes. Don’t drive on the highway at night if you’ve never driven on it before. Climatic conditions are harsh, there is little traffic and almost no population on route, hence no assistance in case of a breakdown. Motorists and even bus travellers should carry extra food and especially water.
Pic: By Cmasi [CC BY-SA 4.0  (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

 

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