The Mexican unit of Spanish construction and civil engineering group Obrascon Huarte Lain has been awarded a contract to build and operate a toll highway in central Mexico, the Communications and Transportation Secretariat said.

"A decision was made (Friday) on the concession to build and operate what will be the Atizapan-Atlacomulco Highway. OHL is the winner," the secretariat's deputy director of infrastructure, Raul Murrieta, announced on Twitter.

The concession grants OHL Mexico the rights to build, operate and maintain the 74-kilometer (45-mile) highway for a period of 30 years, sector sources say.

Atizapan-Atlacomulco, which is to be built in the central state of Mexico, will help improve road links between Mexico's capital and the western city of Guadalajara.

OHL Mexico has until April 30 to start building the project, which is to be completed on that same date in 2016, according to the tender dossier. The deadline for the highway to begin operating is May 15 of that year.

OHL Mexico beat out an infrastructure-development company owned by Mexican multi-billionaire Carlos Slim, Impulsora del Desarrollo y el Empleo en America Latina, by offering to build the highway at a cost of 5.86 billion pesos ($449 million) and to charge a standard toll per vehicle of 148 pesos ($11.30) for the entire route.

IDEAL offered to build the road for 6.7 billion pesos ($512.2 million) and charge a toll of 140.60 pesos ($10.70) per vehicle. EFE