Mayan Train Boosted Infrastructure Projects in Yucatan
Yucatan, a Mexican state traditionally not considered to be an important destination for infrastructure investment, is gaining in relevance as important projects come online this year. The biggest benefits will come from the Mayan Train, which created the need to develop cultural, recreational and tourist-focused infrastructure.
Before 2023, the construction sector’s production value in Yucatan was below the national average, which in the past 10 years scored a monthly MX$1.2 billion (US$63.8 million), while Yucatan scored MX$886 million/m (US$47 million/m), INEGI noted.
According to Raúl Monforte, Vice President, the Mexican Chamber of the Construction Industry (CMIC) in Yucatan, the state will develop important cultural and mobility projects in 2023 to be financed by private and federal resources. The first project of the Ministry of Agrarian, Territorial and Urban Development’s (SEDATU) Urban Upgrading Program (PMU) 2023 in the state, is the refurbishment of Uayma’s historic center.
New cultural projects are boosted by the Mayan Train, a project that aimed to benefit the southeast’s tourism sector. Owing to this project, Yucatan started the construction of two museums, one in Izamal municipality and another in Chichen Itza, key tourist attractions in the state. According to Monforte, the main objective of the museums is to highlight Mayan history and culture as well as to serve as attention centers for the Mayan Train’s users.
Similarly, transportation infrastructure is being developed. Over the past two years, the Merida International Airport revamped its hallways, departure gates and checkpoints, as well as constructed more waiting areas for a larger number of tourists. The airport also opened new flights to destinations like Guadalajara and the Bajio region.
The local government is also analyzing the possibility of upgrading Puerto Progreso to increase the port’s depth and the navigation area’s length. The government also looks to invest in the platform for logistics operations. Similarly, Yucatan and the federal government are discussing the construction of a connection between Puerto Progreso and the nearby industrial area via an elevated viaduct for cargo trucks.
Furthermore, Yucatan is developing the IE-TRAM project, an electric bus fleet that will operate over the disused rail lines in the state. The project will connect the Kanasin and Uman municipalities with Merida and will interconnect with the Mayan Train. According to the governor of Yucatan, Mauricio Vila, this unique project will require an investment of over MX$2.8 billion (US$148.8 million) with a participation of 61% from the Yucatan government, 23% from the federal government and 16% from the private sector. The project is carried out by Spain’s Irizar.