Saltillo creek project and concrete damaged during heavy rains. Saltillo creek and concrete damaged during heavy rainfall.

Heavy rains wiped out creek drainage project

No one has been held responsible for shoddy work that cost 43 million pesos

A public works project in Coahuila intended to divert dangerous rainfall runoff failed dismally in its first encounter with the elements more than two years ago. Several unrealized reconstruction plans later, those responsible for the shoddy construction remain unpunished.

The project on Ceballos creek in the capital city of Saltillo was a commitment by then presidential candidate Enrique Peña Nieto to the state administration led by Governor Rubén Moreira.

By September 2013, state officials and the National Water Commission (Conagua) began channeling the creek in order to stop it from flooding and damaging 12 nearby neighborhoods, inhabited by over 1,500 people.

But heavy rains in June 2014 ripped out the 43-million-peso project, leaving a ruin that with time turned into a breeding ground for infectious diseases.

Two months later, the Moreira administration declared that specialists from the Autonomous University of Nuevo León would analyze the channel project.

A year later, in August 2015, it was declared that the project was to be modified in accordance with technical guidelines issued by Conagua and a call for tenders was issued in October.

A contract was awarded in December to give the project another go, and workers began removing the debris left behind by the rains of 2014.

However, a visit by the newspaper El Universal found that pieces of torn concrete remain piled up, allowing water to remain stagnant and weeds to grow.

Not only was the multi-million-peso project completely destroyed, but subsequent rains continued to damage nearby infrastructure including roads, where sections remain impassable and are off limits to vehicles.

The current Secretary of Infrastructure and Transport, recently appointed by Governor Moreira, acknowledged that the destruction of the Ceballos creek channel was caused by engineering mistakes made during construction.

Those mistakes included miscalculations, poor placing of the channel’s lining and lack of consideration of the channel’s natural curves.

While no one has been singled out for the poor implementation of the project, the state government has said that it has begun the legal process to collect security deposits.

The company allegedly responsible for the faulty construction, Grupo Inmobiliario del Bosque, has not made any public statement about the project.

State authorities hope to see the second iteration finished this year.

Source: El Universal (sp), Vanguardia (sp)

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