Six years after its opening, the Mazatlan-Durango highway leaves much to be desired

Despite being the most expensive road in Mexico, complaints about frequent closures, potholes, deficiencies in services and sections without telephone signal increase

Mazatlan, Sinaloa. – 12 days after the 6th anniversary of its opening, the Mazatlan-Durango highway, considered the most expensive and complex work in Mexico, which required an investment of 28.6 billion pesos, continues to give much to talk about. its frequent closures, some due to landslides and landslides, others due to accidents and even maintenance works, such as the most recent.

The main complaints of the users have to do with the high toll charges, deficiencies in the attentive service, stretches with potholes and the lack of telephone signal to communicate, as confirmed by tourism businessmen, the commerce sector and elements of Green Angels.

In the last closure for maintenance works at kilometer 128, the units were diverted for 7 days to the free road 40, with departures and entrances in Coscomate and Saint Lucia, which represented a 100-kilometer stretch that was covered in time 2 and a half hours in the case of light vehicles.

Just last July 29, in that same section, a pipe carrying liquid asphalt overturned and caught fire, that accident led to the closure of the road for a day.

Two months later, SCT staff found a serious deficiency in a drainage structure that was affected after the gas truck overturn and caught fire; Roads and Federal Bridges reported that the damaged gas truck was fully calcined and at risk of collapse, which could lead to the total closure of the superhighway.

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The case most remembered for its high impact was raised on January 12, 2018, when a gas truck loaded with diesel crashed in the direction of the El Carrizo bridge and one of its tanks with 44 thousand liters of fuel exploded, which caused damage to the cable-stayed bridge structure. The repair work lasted 8 months, during all that time, the highway was closed to traffic.

The president of the National Chamber of Commerce, Services and Tourism, Jesús Rafael Sandoval Gaxiola, lamented the frequent closures of the superhighway, since every time they appear they affect the sector between 10 and 30% in sales and reservations.

He said that although the month of September is low, with the last closure of the highway that lasted for 7 days, sales fell by up to 30%.

On the other hand, José Ricardo Picos Quintero, head of tourist services of the Green Angels, said that the vehicular traffic in the year is varied, since the capacity in normal seasons the average is 100 units per hour, in strong days of Tourism increases between 150 and 300, but there are days that only circulate between 5 and 10 vehicles per hour.

This contrasts with the expectations and numbers of the SCT that were given on the day of the inauguration, in which event it was reported that the great work would register a capacity of 3 thousand vehicles a day in the first year, and that at 6 years expected an average traffic of 6 thousand units per day.

The superhighway connects to other highways to link 19 municipalities and 8 entities of the Northern Economic Corridor, which are affected by the closures. Photo: Rolando Salazar

CORRIDOR JOINS 8 STATES

With the inauguration of the super Mazatlan-Durango highway, on October 17, 2013, the Northern Economic Corridor was opened, linking 19 municipalities of 8 state entities, in order to turn the north of the country into an international trade zone, which attracts investments, tourism and generates more jobs.

The great work of the Mazatlan-Durango opened the possibility of specifying the most important commercial exchange center between Asia and North America, as it is an interoceanic axis, which compared to the Panama Canal, is faster, more efficient and cheaper.

However, the project is still waiting for two key works that have delayed due to the lack of economic resources: the railway and port infrastructure that has to do with the port of great draft in Mazatlan, and the railway passage between Mazatlan and Durango.

And although tourism was not the central theme of the Northern Economic Corridor, but part of it, it is the one that has developed most in the last six years, by connecting the states of Sinaloa, Durango, Coahuila, Chihuahua, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas, Zacatecas and Nayarit, to the extent of positioning Mazatlan as the fashionable destination for families.

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Six years ago that the highway was opened, at this time, Mazatlan has been very benefited in the commerce, services and tourism sector, we have had very good influx, most weekends and more on long weekends, the The port is 100% occupied, because people come from the North Economic Corridor.

Jesus Sandoval

He said that one of the expectations of the highway in terms of unit flow was to transport the loads that arrived from Asia to the United States, through this transverse axis that would link the Pacific Ocean with the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic, but this has not been possible because the works of great draft of the port are pending.

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Where there have been results is in the tourism sector, and the most benefited from the 19 municipalities that make up the CEN is Mazatlan.

Mazatlan greatly benefited in the tourism sector and the commercial sector, you are already coming to Mazatlan for a weekend and already struggling to find rooms, that is why we see the quite large investment that is taking place, as a result of which we are in great demand.

Local leader of the Canaco-Servytur.

CLOSURES AND AFFECTATIONS

Sandoval Gaxiola said that in the rainy season it is when the influx of tourists in the port is lower, mainly in the month of September, and with the closure of the peak, sales fell by 30%.

Of this percentage, he considered, 10% has to do with the reduction of trips made by Mazatlan-Durango.

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We must now walk 30% less in commerce in general, and it comes to represent something very hard because anyway we have to pay salaries, social security and everything that has to do with the company’s fixed expenses; We believe that, as for the highway, we must walk 10% that has affected us, it could affect us more from now on if the closures continue.

Sandoval Gaxiola

This is because as of October, the influx of visitors begins to pick up again on weekends when tourists come from the entities that make up the Northern Economic Corridor.

“In the month of September many people do not travel because they already traveled in July and August, and at the end of the month of August all the expenses of the schools come, so it is very low, but in October it begins to rebound again, so let’s hope that the maxipista does not close again and that the influx rebound ”.

As a representative of the commerce, services and tourism sector of Mazatlan, he called on the SCT, CAPUFE and the concessionaire, to speed up the maintenance works and not to close the road to circulation again.

FREQUENT COMPLAINTS

Ricardo Picos commented that, with the opening of the superhighway, the vehicle capacity was distributed to almost 90% on the highway and the other 10% on the free highway, due to the safety and the decrease of the travel times that differ 6 to 2.5 hours in light cars, and 12 to 4.5 hours in cargo trucks.

He said that, in normal seasons, the vehicle capacity is around 100 units per hour, of which 50% are cargo trucks and the other 50% light cars.

In high tourist seasons, traffic increases between 150 and 300 vehicles per hour, picking up the capacity of cars up to 80%, compared to 20% of cargo trucks.

Among the most common complaints of tourists, he added, they highlight the presence of potholes in some sections of the highway, as well as the road closures due to maintenance, landslides, landslides and accidents, which forces them to deviate towards the free 40 , which increases the travel time and the risk of accidents.

We have situations on the Mazatlan-Durango highway that people do not like, such as potholes, when a lot of money is paid, unfortunately, the bump situation occurs in the Culiacán-Mazatlán and the Mazatlán-Tepic, which are also expensive roads.

Ricardo Picos

Since its opening to date, the toll rates in the four booths that make up the Mazatlan-Durango corridor have increased by 40%, since before the total cost was around 500 pesos, and today they add 700 pesos.

Another aspect that users point out a lot, he added, is the lack of telephone signal in several sections of the road, and the time to pay attention to a mechanical failure.

The chief of attention for tourists of Angeles Verdes in the southern part of the state believes that the attention offered by Federal Roads and Bridges on the Mazatlan-Durango highway is better than that given on other toll roads.

“Unfortunately, the problem of the telephone signal affects the user a little, which cannot be communicated many times, that is why the routes are made so that people who cannot communicate get our attention.”

In this low season, he indicated that Angeles Verdes serves on this route between 3 and 4 users a day, while on weekends they rise to 6 and 7 attentions; in the case of high seasons, the work rebounds between 15 and 20 daily attentions.

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HIGHWAY FACE WITH POTHOLES

The leader of the merchants, Jesús Sandoval, says that 10 days ago he traveled to the city of Durango, and he could see that there are many potholes on the highway, which is why tourists who visit the port of Mazatlan complain.

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There are many potholes, but they were being repaired and there are quite a few at certain points, but the main complaint is that the road for its geography requires a lot of maintenance; there are constant landslides and rains, it is an expensive road, it costs the traveler and that is why they want it to be in good condition, because the potholes break their tires when they fall into them.

Jesus Sandoval

He indicated that, in the high season, the greatest capacity of vehicles is of tourists who come with the whole family, and an accident could be a huge tragedy for a family, hence the importance of repairing and providing constant maintenance to the superhighway.

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FIGURES:

100 vehicles per hour is the normal capacity observed on the Mazatlan-Durango highway, according to data from Ángeles Verdes.

150 to 300 units per hour circulate on the superhighway during the high tourist season.

40% have increased the cost of tolls since the opening of the highway to date.

Sales and reservations fall in Mazatlan from 10 to 30% during the days of highway closure, depending on the season.

30% sales fell during the month of September, adding the low season and the closure of the super track.

MAZATLÁN-DURANGO HIGHWAY

Inauguration October 17, 2013

Length: 230 kilometers

Car travel time: 2.5 hrs

Travel time cargo trucks: 4.5 hrs

Driveway width: 12 m (2 to 4 lanes)

Lateral dimensioning: 2.5 m

64 tunnels with 19.3 km, the longest of 2.8 km

115 structures with 12.5 km (passages, bridges and viaducts, 57 of high specifications)

Investment: 28.6 mmdp

Start of work: January 2001

Construction time: 13 years

FREE MAZATLÁN-DURANGO

Width: 7 m, without dimensioning

Length: 305 km

Car travel time: 6 hrs

Travel time cargo trucks: 10 to 12 hrs

Source: el sol de mazatlan

The Mazatlan Post

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