Officially, the BR-319 highway linking Manaus to Porto Velho already exists. It was inaugurated in 1976 and it was completely paved. Without maintenance, it becomes impossible to pass through it in the rainy season in the central part of its almost 900 kilometers of extension.
It was even closed in 1988 due to traffic problems. Today, half of the highway is dirt and surrounded by one of the most virgin and preserved stretches of the Amazon Forest, mostly in the State of Amazonas.
Although it serves as a connection between two capital cities in the north region of Brazil, BR-319 is far from being just another highway. The highway cuts through the forest, and the subsequent effects of opening a road in the middle of the Amazon jungle are already widely known.
The scientist Philip Fearnside is a critic of the repaving of BR-319 and has published several studies warning about the negative effects of the construction project. After the asphalt, he says, comes land grabbing, deforestation, fires, and all damages to the forest.
Conservacion Amazonica’s annual survey estimated the loss of primary forest in the nine Amazon countries by 2021 at nearly 2 million hectares. The most serious note is that 70% of registered loss occurred in Brazil, located in areas close to highways. See the map: