At left, how the road is supposed to look; at right, the damaged road in San Pedro Yolox. At left, how the road is supposed to look; at right, the damaged road in San Pedro Yolox.

AMLO’s flagship roadbuilding program hits a snag in Oaxaca

One of 58 new, community-built roads needs repair or relocation

A recently built road in Oaxaca that was part of a highly promoted federal program to connect remote towns to more populous areas in the state may have to be relocated.

A stretch of highway that connects the municipality of San Pedro Yolox, located in the northern Sierra region, to the rest of the state has sustained severe damage since it was opened just four months ago.

At least 30 meters of the 9-kilometer hydraulic concrete road is collapsing due to a geological fault, according to the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples (INPI).

The federal Ministry of Communications and Transportation is currently inspecting the damage to determine whether the road can be repaired or if it should be relocated.

INPI director of infrastructure Vladimir Ortiz Sánchez promised there would be a plan of action by January 18. The choices available to officials are either finding a way to contain the earth in and around the road or reroute that section of the highway.

Despite the collapse, the road has not been closed, and vehicles still travel on it despite the difficulties presented by the damage, authorities said.

The program that built the road has been touted by President López Obrador as a means of providing local employment and keeping infrastructure spending in the communities that benefit.

However, he has also been criticized for not using relevant specialists.

In some reports, poor drainage was cited for the damage in Yolox but a Oaxaca-based civil engineer said it was due to a lack of technical supervision and a failure to control the quality of materials used to build the road.

In 2019 and 2020, 58 roads have been built in Oaxaca under the initiative.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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