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Progreso’s enormous pier turns 80 years old

And no, it's not a bridge to the Keys or Cuba

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
At 6.5 km, Progreso’s pier is the longest in the world and one of the busiest in Mexico. Photo: Courtesy

Progreso’s maritime pier, the longest in the world, turned 80 last weekend. 

The original section of the pier has now survived eight decades’ worth of hurricanes thanks to its steel-and-cement structure built by the Danish company Christiani & Nielsen. 

This original section stretches 2 kilometers into the ocean and is held up of a series of 146 arches. 

Work on the pier began in 1936 and was finished in 1941. Since that time, several renovation and expansion projects have made the dock the longest in the world. 

Runners on Progreso’s pier during the annual 10k race organized by the port authority. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

The pier now pierces into the Gulf of Mexico for a distance of 6.5 km and resembles a bridge to some far-off land. 

It has long been a local urban legend that the pier was intended to be a bridge connecting Yucatán with the Florida Keys or Cuba. 

Earlier: As Yucatan waits for a tourism comeback, Progreso is given an important endorsement

In reality, the length of the pier is designed to allow large ships to dock, as the waters surrounding the Yucatán peninsula are very shallow. 

Since its completion, Progreso’s pier has become one of the most important in all of southern Mexico. A great many imports and exports are shipped through it every day. 

Over the past decade, the pier has become an increasingly popular port for cruise ships.

Cruise ships are expected to begin arriving in Progreso again in July. Photo: Courtesy

While tourists arriving on these cruise ships stay in Progreso to enjoy the beach and boardwalk, others take the opportunity to venture off to one of Yucatán’s many archaeological sites, such as Chichén Itzá, Uxmal, or Dziblichalútn

Earlier: After more than a year, cruise ships set to return in early July

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