According to the newspaper , El Financiero, when plans for a new highway originally went out to bid, the Ministry of Communications and Transport, in charge of contracting the work to companies interested, gave a time limit of only six days for bidders to prepare and submit proposals.
That is, the Paso Express Cuernavaca, was planned in less than a week. Short time frameworks like this are often used to steer work to favoured companies, excluding bidders who can’t make the unrealistic deadlines or were unaware of the opportunity.
The highway construction was inaugurated last April and opened, literally, on July 12., after heavy rains loosened the soil under the road, and a sinkhole more than 12 meters in diameter caved in.
A car traveling along the highway fell into the gap, killing two people, a father and son. The death toll could have been worse, as the damage to the highway occurred at the beginning of the holiday season, when families use the road to reach the port of Acapulco, Guerrero, and tourist areas of Morelos.
Meanwhile six families whose homes are endangered as too close to the huge, unstable concrete structure, have beeen reloacted to go to hotels to be safe.
For some specialists the delivery time of the project in less than a week is too short for a work of these magnitudes to be designed well and represented a danger to users. The former head of the Tax Administration Service, Aristotle Núñez tweeted the day of the incident: “Secretary @gruizesp , is not a socavón, is not rain. It is negligence and corruption. Stop hurting the President and the country, resign. ”
Last Friday, July 21, the Ministry of Communications and Transport,Aldesa-Epccor, who is responsible for granting the project to the consortium of builders , reported that the works under repair will take ten week, including the installation of a pipeline.
While the investigation into the causes of the highway’s failure are are not settled, , federal and local officials responsible have chosen to blame the manager of the SCT in the state of Morelos, Jose Luis Alarcon Ezeta, who was fired. No actions have been taken by President Enrique Peña Nieto against the top federal official, responsible according to Socavòn Paso Express, July 12, 2017.
The government of Morelos is waiting to receive a report by the specialists of the College of Engineers of the State of Morelos. Meanwhile the tunnel has now been fenced according to the newspaper El Universal, so the work that is done to repair it is is not visible to passing cars still using the highway on the other side of the wall. Some have expressed concern that the event may be repeated when the land is softened by the rains.
Social media users have also been quick to place the blame on shoddy work due to corruption that has long been part of the government contracting. MXvsCORRUPTION posted information about the road’s failure online in July 20, 2017 Tweet. asking, “Who will repair the damage caused by the death of two people in the # PasoExprés siege ?