The El Carrizo bridge, currently under repair. The El Carrizo bridge, currently under repair.

Fire-damaged bridge to reopen for Easter

Two lanes of the bridge on the Mazatlán-Durango freeway will open March 23

A bridge on the Mazatlán-Durango freeway that was damaged by fire last month will be partially reopened in time for Easter Week.

Federal and state officials told a press conference yesterday that two lanes of the El Carrizo bridge will open to two-way traffic on March 23.

A tanker truck carrying diesel overturned on the bridge January 19, spilling 34,000 liters of fuel that caught fire and burned for five hours.

Repairs are expected to cost 150 million pesos (US $8 million), said Transportation and Communications Undersecretary Óscar Raúl Callejo Silva.

While insurance coverage on the highway will cover those costs, he explained, legal action is being taken against Transportes Internacionales, owner of the tanker truck. Lack of skill on the part of the driver has been blamed for the accident.

Callejo said it was the biggest accident yet seen on the freeway, a massive construction project that was completed in 2013. If much of the diesel had not drained off the deck of the bridge, he said, the damage would have been far worse.

As it was, temperatures reached 1,000 C.

Speed on the bridge will be limited to 20 kilometers per hour when it reopens, and semis with a single trailer will be permitted to use it.

Callejo said repairs should be fully completed by August 31, but the two lanes will remain open during repairs.

The 217-meter-long structure is Mexico’s third-highest bridge at 198 meters.

Source: El Sol de Durango (sp), Milenio (sp)

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