President López Obrador visited Cancun to kick off four infrastructure projects in the state, which aim to improve road connectivity for both locals and tourists. The president considers the investments to be a form of compensation from the federal government for the benefits that Cancun has brought the country via its prolific tourism industry.
According to the authorities, the projects are part of a road infrastructure program worth US$356 million. The projects include the revamping of Luis Donaldo Colosio Boulevard with an investment of over US$49.1 million, the modernization of a junction to Cancun Airport with US$17.6 million, the construction of the Chac Mool Avenue for US$11.7 million and the construction of Nichupte Bridge, which will cross the Nichupte Lagoon. The bridge will require an investment of US$273.
According to Deputy Minister of Infrastructure Jorge Nuño, the Luis Donaldo Colosio Boulevard and airport junction modernization projects have already started and are expected to be ready by October 2023. The remaining projects are to be started this year and will be finalized by December 2023.
The Nichupte bridge project consists of two parts, crossing both the land and the Nichupte lagoon. With an 8.8km total length, the bridge will have three lanes, a bicycle path and two emergency stopping bays. It will connect Cancun with a busy hotel district and will be developed by Ingenieros Civiles Asociados (ICA). President López Obrador highlighted that at first, the project was meant to be a toll bridge, but it was changed to a toll-free bridge to pay back Cancun for its contribution to the Mexican economy.
The Luis Donaldo Colosio Boulevard revamping works are overseen by CEMEX. According to its contract, the project’s term is of 15 months starting from June 6, 2022, though works have not started yet.
The airport junction’s construction started earlier in July, while Chac Mool Avenue’s labor has not started yet. The avenue is to connect with Huayacan avenue and Luis Donaldo Colosio Boulevard, connecting the city from north to south. Both projects are expected to be finished in October 2023.
While López Obrador and Quintana Roo’s authorities consider these projects to be crucial for the development of the state, some experts argue that they could be counterproductive since they promote the use of cars instead of giving users sustainable mobility alternatives. “The most recent mobility policies propose the promotion and upgrading of public transportation or alternative means… it is a nationwide policy derived from the Comprehensive Law for Mobility and Road Safety. I think that this [Nichupte] bridge is contrary to the policy since [the government] is still developing car infrastructure,” said Adriana Martínez, Vice President, Quintana Roo’s Urbanists College.