Construction of Merida’s Parque La Plancha continues across roughly 50 acres.
The park is estimated to be completed by Oct. 31, 2024, just before the end of the six-year term of President Andres Manuel López Obrador.
Among the attractions will be an amphitheater for 5,000 people, an interactive fountain, a food market, elevated walkways, and a brand-new train museum.
Also included in the design is an enormous artificial lake, likely for canoeing and kayaking.
“The construction of the artificial lake has been extremely challenging given the limestone geology of the Peninsula,” said Col. Hermenio Jiménez Velázques, the project’s lead engineer.
There are widespread concerns on social media regarding the wisdom of its construction, given Yucatán’s increasing problem with dengue. The artificial lake could serve as a massive breeding spot for mosquitoes.
At this point, it is unclear if the elevated walkways will serve any function other than a walkway or if it will be shaded.
The park will also serve as the main hub for the IE-Tram network, which will connect Mérida with Uman, Kanasín, and Mérida’s Mayan Train station near Hacienda Teya.
Construction of Mérida’s Tren Maya station is also underway at Teya, though so far, the design does not resemble the initial renderings.
Parque La Plancha is but one of several large-scale projects in Yucatán, along with the Maya Train headquarters building in the north of Mérida, as well as several new museums and improvements to existing tourist infrastructure.
One thing all of these projects have in common is the involvement of the Mexican Armed Forces, which President Lopéz Obrador says is necessary. But this turn of events is unsettling to those who fear the growing militarization of the country and its infrastructure.