The Trans-Amazonian Highway (BR-230) was inaugurated on August 30, 1972. It is 5,300 km long, making it the third longest highway in Brazil. It runs through the Brazilian states of Piaui, Maranhão, Tocantins, Pará and Amazonas.
The highway was intended to integrate these regions with the rest of the country, and with Peru and Ecuador. It was originally planned to be a fully paved highway 5200 kilometers long. However, these plans were modified following its inauguration.
In particular, because of high construction costs and Brazil financial crisis on the late 70's, only a part of the highway were paved, from its beginning in Picos to 200km ahead of Marabá. The lack of a fully sealed road causes many problems. Travel on the non-paved stretchs of the highway is extremelly difficult during the region's rainy season between October and March.
Construction of the highway was very challenging because of the remoteness of the site. Workers building the road were frequently isolated and without communication, occasional visits to nearby cities providing the only contact. Although, severe techniques and procedures evolved during the construction of Belém-Brasília Highway (BR-153) were then used. According to DNIT, roughly 800 km of the highway are due to be paved in the next 4 years, improving transport links in central region of Pará state. [
Access to the construction sites was mostly accomplished by small airplanes using temporary airstrips and boats.