A 10-year-long megatunnel project in Mexico City will be completed on July 10, the head of the National Water Commission (Conagua) has announced.
Blanca Jiménez said excavation of the tunnel was 81% complete and would be finished in April. Lining the tunnel with concrete is 95% complete, and will be finished in July.
Construction crews will work 24 hours a day, seven days a week until the project is finished, she said.
The 62-kilometer tunnel project will move 150,000 liters of wastewater per second. Officials say its completion is vital to reducing flooding in Mexico City.
During a tour of the tunnel with Jiménez, Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum stressed the importance of completing the project before this year’s rainy season.
“We have urged [Jiménez] to finish the tunnel before the 2019 rainy season. She has assured us she will do all she can to do so; it’s very important that it is completed so that we can reduce some of the flooding, especially in the eastern part [of the city].”
The mayor added that once the project is complete, the Mexico City government will need to focus on constructing better drainage systems to take full advantage of the tunnel and to reduce the city’s reliance on the underground aquifer, which may be in danger of running out, according to some sources.
“Our first priority is to protect forested areas and to generate new means for capturing household rainwater so that at least during the rainy season we can rely on other ways of getting water.”