Spanish group Isolux Corsan and its Portuguese partner have inaugurated a highway in eastern Mexico that is part of the corridor linking the capital with the Gulf coast port of Veracruz, the consortium said.

The Xalapa Bypass, which stretches for 60 kilometers (37 miles) and has four lanes, a tunnel and two viaducts, reduces by half the time needed to cover the distance between the cities of Perote and Xalapa, the consortium made up of Isolux and Portugal's Ascendi Group-Grupo Mota Engil said Tuesday.

The project required an investment outlay of 10 billion pesos ($769 million), half of which went directly into building the highway and the rest for technical studies, financing costs, complementary works and other expenses.

The consortium, known as Concesionaria Autopista Perote-Xalapa, said the highway was built with the "most advanced engineering."

The road is a key section of the corridor linking Mexico City with the port of Veracruz and is one of the most important infrastructure projects of its kind in recent years in Veracruz state, the consortium added.

Outgoing Mexican President Felipe Calderon, who supervised the final work on the highway last Friday, said some 23,000 kilometers (14,300 miles) of roads have been built or rebuilt during his six-year term, which ends Dec. 1.

The first 30 kilometers (18.5 miles) of the Perote-Xalapa highway were opened in July and the second stage was completed Tuesday. EFE