Who could have possibly foreseen rain during the rainy season? Certainly not the people in charge of fixing the paso deprimido.
Repairs to the flooded Glorieta de la Paz underpass, which were scheduled for completion in late July, have now been pushed back another month.
While initial estimates for repairs to the paso deprimido were just north of 9.5 million pesos, the current budget calls for 30 million — over three times as much.
Contractors at Sacbé Construcciones blamed the recent rains for abandoning the original schedule.
Although Mérida has experienced some heavy downpours in the past month, none of them have been so severe as to fall under the category of “unexpected.” Yucatán is in the middle of its rainy season.
The underpass was flooded in June 2020 after a particularly severe tropical storm season and has remained closed almost ever since. After the closure, city hall said repairs would take several weeks, which have now stretched into well over a year.
To avoid flooding in the future, the city has decided to elevate its road surface by one meter and apply a special layer of weatherproof coating.
The tunnel’s price tag, including repairs and maintenance costs, now exceeds 130 million pesos / US$6.5 million.
The paso deprimido, has been a hot topic ever since it was first built in 2011 during the tenure of Mayor Angélica Araujo.
“This whole thing does not make any sense and it never did. I am no civil engineer but mark my words, this thing is going to flood again,” a Mérida resident, Emmanuel Robles, commented on Facebook.
Before its closure, the tunnel — which runs underneath one of the city’s busiest intersections — accommodated approximately 47,000 vehicles a day. Its closure made traffic significantly worse.