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Delayed Construction Keeps Tormenting Public

By: David Real | Real Acapulco News - 04 February, 2011

(Acapulco, NA 4 February) The cloverleaf being built at Puerto Marqués is supposed to save lots of time for drivers. It is one of Acapulco’s worst bottlenecks. This is where the Escénica meets the road up to Coloso and El Cayaco, and the Boulevard de las Naciones begins, headed for the Diamond Zone and the airport. It is also WAY behind schedule, causing traffic tie-ups and snarls, sometimes for a mile on the approach roads. The delay is causing millions of man-hours to be spent uselessly waiting for single lanes of vehicles to crawl past the torn up pavement. Construction was delayed because the contractor broke water mains. Then the environmental authorities closed it for creating a land fill for construction refuse in the middle of an ecological preserve.

Now they have run out of money. The official explanation is that delays on the ground have caused a need for funds from the budget for 2011 instead of the one for 2010. Officials say that it will take up to three months to get funds flowing again. A cynical public assumes that bureaucrats and politicians plundered the project so badly that no money was left over for all the concrete and steel required. The money may not have been stolen, however; it may just have been diverted to projects elsewhere, which had been delayed by cost overruns. Presumably when funds start flowing again, some other project will come up short.

Meanwhile, citizens are fed up with the tortoise-like pace of the project. One taxi driver, who must go through this section several times in a day, said that the SCT [highway department] tears up the roads, “and instead of generating benefits, just creates problems and traffic for the whole city, each time they fail to stay on the established critical path.” He asked for the federal government to demand the rapid completion or else restore the roads to the way they were before.

In eight months, the construction company has managed to erect most of the columns of the elevated roadway and some of the beams for the road itself. But during rainy season the whole area is expected to be a muddy mess, potentially stopping both the construction and the traffic.