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Sinkhole in Mexican highway blamed on corruption

mexico highway collapse
A giant crack developed in the  brand new  Paso Express Cuernavaca highway in the state of Morelos, Mexico, creating a huge sinkhole and killing two people.
While government blames a mid-level official for the shoddy work,  former government officials on social media have blamed the problem on government corruption.  The hole  in the $200 million highway will take almost twelve times more time to repair than the highway took to design in the first place.

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.

highway collapse mexico

The collapse resulted in the deaths of a father and son whose car fell through the highway

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. ”

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Mexican highway sinkhole

Another view of the giant sinkhole.

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.

collapsed highway in Mexico

Why worry? Cars passing through are unable to see the sinkhole in the highway under repair behind the fence.

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.


Pictures of the rescue work, Km 93 expressway in Cuernavaca,  are  shown below    in a tweet by Carlos Loret de Mola (@CarlosLoret) on  July 12, 2017


mexico highway repair

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 ?

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