A leading source for news and analysis about Mexico and the U.S.-Mexican border.

Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014

Toll road to be repaired in same spot that it collapsed

Cost to be at least 500 million pesos ($37.6 million); studies to take 3 or 4 months, and work expected to be finished before end of year

      The Tijuana-Ensenada toll road is to be repaired in the same spot it collapsed, federal and state officials said. Engineering studies are expected to take three or four months, and the work — expected to cost at least 500 million pesos, or $37.6 million — is expected to be finished before the end of the year.
      El Mexicano on Thursday published an editorial more or less praising that the decision was announced at a meeting including Baja California Gov. Francisco Vega, but a column by Rogelio Aros Guzmán on a facing page blasted it. Guzmán contended that the terrain is too unstable.
Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.
Editorial (PDF). Guzmán's column (PDF).
Update, Jan. 16, 2014: Federal highways representative Rosa María Castañeda Guadiana says that the fault between kilometers 84 and 98 of the toll road is a manageable issue, noting that the highway has managed to coexist with the fault since the road was built. Story, El Mexicano (PDF)

Monday, Dec. 30, 2013

Tijuana-Ensenada toll road may take more than a year to repair

      It may take more than a year to repair the Tijuana-Ensenada toll road around Kilometer 93, officials said Sunday. Authorities also said the repairs would be done in such a way to mitigate against such a calamity occurring again.
Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.
April 2012 story explaining problems involving the toll road.
Update, Jan. 3: Sen. Marco Antonio Blásquez says government must come up with the best, most-lasting solution. He estimates costs at 150 million to 450 million pesos ($11.5 million to $34.4 million), with construction time of six to 14 months. Story, Frontera (PDF)

Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013

Tijuana-Ensenada toll road collapses at kilometer 93

      federal warning about toll road collapse A section of the Tijuana-Ensenada toll road along the Pacific coast collapsed at kilometer 93 early Saturday, Mexican media reported. Because Saturday was Mexico's version of April Fool's Day (Day of the Holy Innocents), many at first thought the collapse was a joke. It was unclear how long the toll road would be shut; vehicles were being diverted to the free road between Rosarito Beach and Ensenada.
A federal government webpage on Saturday warned that the toll road was shut in both directions at kilometer 93.
Story, El Sol de Tijuana.
Saturday's El Mexicano print edition (PDF) showing wide cracks in road on Friday, before Saturday morning's collapse. Jump page.

Update, Dec. 31: Earthquakes at fault? Authorities say seven earthquakes of 1.3 to 4.1 magnitude that took place in the days before the road collapse caused the collapse. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Some experts questioned this conclusion, and said the federal highways department should have done more to shore up the road earlier. Stories, El Mexicano (PDF). Jumps.
Update, Jan. 1: Timeline of road closure and collapse: Frontera reported that federal highways representative Rosa María Castañeda Guadiana says that as a result of road fissures that grew bigger on Dec. 27, the toll road was closed to heavy vehicles at midnight, and to all traffic around 2:20 a.m. Dec. 28. The collapse occurred at 6 a.m.
Government had been moving material to shore up road: Castañeda said the government had been working on a project to move a million cubic meters of material to shore up the road when it collapsed; at that point 23,000 cubic meters of material had been brought to the area. Some have blamed the work for causing the collapse. [Indeed, on Jan. 16, Castañeda said that the filler material appeared to have added to the weight of the road, helping cause the collapse. Story, El Mexicano (PDF)]
Truck carrying cement was on collapsed road: A truck belonging to the cement company Holcim Apasco, carrying an estimated 60 tons of cement, was stuck on the southbound portion of the road, which broke apart. The federal highways department reported that the northbound section of the road moved about 30 meters downward toward the ocean. The truck still wound up staying on the piece of highway it moved with, keeping its wheels to the ground. Photo in Frontera (PDF).

Federal highways department (Capufe) news release on the incident.

April 2012 story explaining problems involving the toll road.

Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013

Trucks traveling between Ensenada and Tijuana to be rerouted through Tecate as a result of toll road collapse

capufe toll road closure map        In order to keep the free road flowing between Rosarito and Ensenada in the wake of the collapse of the Tijuana-Ensenada toll road, trucks are to be rerouted to Tecate instead of going through Rosarito, authorities told El Mexicano newspaper. Mexican business groups are angry with the federal highway agency over the collapse because it is going to cost businesses time and money.
       Officials said they would be conducting a study to determine what to do next — rebuild the road where it is, reroute it, possibly through a tunnel, or what. The Carretera Escénica is currrently closed between kilometers 65 and 99.
Stories, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.
Update, Jan. 2: Paper says trucks are being asked, but not required, to go through Tecate.
Update, Jan. 7: Community leaders in Ensenada seek barring of heavy trucks from Tijuana-Ensenada free road. Story, El Mexicano (PDF).
Update, Jan. 9: Ensenada businessman appears to claim there is a conspiracy of sorts in Tijuana and Ensenada to keep tourism away from Ensenada as a result of the toll-road collapse. Story, El Mexicano (PDF).
Update, Jan. 14: Maquiladoras in Ensenada complain that toll road collapse is costing up to a two-hour delay in transport to to border. Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.
Update, Jan. 18: Trucks with double-trailers and trucks carrying hazardous cargo are being banned from traveling on free road between Rosarito and Ensenada, El Mexicano reports (PDF). Meanwhile, El Sol de Tijuana reported that the state tourism minister says tourists traveling from the border to Ensenada are only experiencing 15-minute delays in reaching their destinations as a result of the detour.

Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014

Transpeninsular highway getting 3 new bridges

       Three bridges in southern Baja California that form part of the transpeninsular highway are being replaced, El Mexicano newspaper reported. They are Santo Tomás I and Santo Tomás II and El Taboada at Maneadero. Story, El Mexicano (PDF).