A consortium led by Mexico's Cemex has started rebuilding a highway in Nicaragua that is part of the Pacific Corridor, the main route between Mexico and Central America, the Foreign Relations Secretariat said.

The contract for the overhaul of the road, known as "the old highway to Leon," was awarded to Cemex Nicaragua, Constructora Meco and Llansa Ingenieros, the secretariat said in a statement.

The consortium will rebuild 31.43 kilometers (19 miles) of the highway's 50 kilometers (31 miles), the secretariat said.

The project's $40 million cost is being financed by a Mexican regional infrastructure fund and the Central American Bank for Economic Integration.

Mexico's Infrastructure Fund for the Countries of Mesoamerica and the Caribbean, which was created in December 2011 with an initial contribution of $160 million, is providing a portion of the financing, the secretariat said.

The fund is one of Mexico's main foreign aid instruments for promoting development in Central America.

"With this move, Mexico reasserts its presence and commitment to the development of Central America, a strategic region for our country," the Foreign Relations Secretariat said. EFE