Saturday, January 28, 2023

Mexico bets on elevated section to end Maya train

MEXICO CITY ( Associated Press) – The Maya train, a controversial tourism project The highway, which will run through Mexico’s southeast, will now include a 72-kilometer stretch of elevated highway through the jungle, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced Monday.

López Obrador has changed his mind several times about his favorite project, a 1,500km track that aims to transport tourists around the Yucatán Peninsula, linking coastal points with important archaeological ruins.

Initially, the project was to run along an elevated line along the Coastal Road, where most of the hotels are located. But the 110-kilometer route through the jungle between the tourist centers of Cancun and Tulum was changed due to opposition from hoteliers.

Environmental groups then voiced their opposition to a plan which they confirm will crush or contaminate a network of caves and underground lakes. Which surrounds the tourist cities of Tulum and Playa del Carmen.

In addition, engineers worry that the fragile limestone soil, leached from the caves, will collapse under the weight of the high-speed train.

Now, according to the new plan, two-thirds of the line will be extended. To do this, the road will be built on thousands of 25-meter piles sunk into the rocky ground that will support precast sections up to 2.5 meters above the ground.

The President said, “Everything has an impact and everything is measured, but the impact is minimal, because where the pile is going to enter, there is nothing, which means an aquifer, a cave, very There is less to affect an archaeological site.” “All of that is analyzed.”

Activists rejected the idea. José “Pepe” Urbina, a diver who has explored caves in that area for decades, explained, “They don’t have the technical ability to stack, because (caves) are everywhere.”

“It is foolish to build a train on that soil … build a train that pollutes the water,” said Urbina, who also recalled that the construction has already cut down thousands of trees.

The latest changes to the project have also raised questions about whether the elevated passage – which the president says will include an 80-metre suspension bridge to cross one of the caves – can be completed within a year. .As he has promised.

Some of the oldest human remains in North America have been discovered in these caves. Known as “cenotes” they were often dry and frequented by humans before 13,000 years ago.

Nation World News Desk
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