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PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — The Haitian government and European Union have signed an agreement for building a road to connect the capital with the country's second largest city.

The European Union will spend 40.7 million euros ($52.6 million) on a project that will first pave a dirt national highway linking the central towns of Hinche and St. Raphael. It is 27 miles (44-kilometer) long.

The second phase of the project calls for the highway to be extended 20 miles (33 kilometers) from St. Raphael to Cap-Haitian, a coastal city on the northern end of Haiti.

The work is to begin in 2012. Organizers hope the paved highway will improve commerce between the north and the capital.

The agreement was signed Wednesday.

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