There were errors and neglect on the part of federal employees and the private contractors in the construction of the Cuernavaca Paso Express, the Communications and Transportation Secretary admitted today.
Gerardo Ruiz Esparza said preliminary results of an investigation into drainage problems that caused a sinkhole July 12 reveal there were anomalies in the project, a 14.5-kilometer stretch of highway that cut the driving team between Mexico City and Cuernavaca, Morelos.
He announced that a further investigation will be carried out by the consultancy KPMG in the form of an audit of the entire stretch of highway to identify any other problems and review the quality of the work.
Ruiz Esparza also said his department will conduct a review of all federal highways to avoid another accident such as the sinkhole, which killed two occupants of a car that was passing when the hole opened.
In addition, new highway construction projects will be subject to a new inspection scheme under which work will be evaluated quarterly on a stricter basis.
The secretary called on staff to act responsibly or face the same consequences as the secretariat’s Morelos delegate, who was fired the day after the sinkhole appeared when it was learned he neglected to inform his superiors about faults in the project.
Investigating those faults continues on the part of the secretariat, the Public Administration Secretariat and an independent team of members of the College of Civil Engineers.
It was announced yesterday that the highway will be repaired by constructing a viaduct to cross a ravine where inadequate drainage led to the appearance of the sinkhole.
The work will be carried out by the consortium that built the highway, comprised of the firms Epccor and Grupo Aldesa, and paid for through a performance bond and insurance.