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El Bicentenario Mañana

Talking of the Bicentenario, as I was yesterday, I’ve been hunting down info from across the web on the big party. There is the official Bicentenario website which has an absolute ton of information. And videos. And some half decent desktop wallpapers. And a whole load more. It’s all in Spanish, so if that’s not a lingo you’re familiar with you’re stuck. Unless you’re using Google Chrome as your browser of choice, which will auto translate the page for you. I recommend it, even if you don’t need that facility.

The next website is one I found advertised outside the National Palace in the Zocalo, for an exhibition they’re having, and it’s the absolute quintessential example of the numerous Bicentenario projects – it’s still under construction. Everywhere I look, there are placards, billboards and other signage sitting next to uncompleted (and sometimes not even half done) construction sites.

The new Linea 12 metro station looks nice in the artists impressions and all, but that’s years away from being finished. The huge roadworks project heading north from near Cuatro Caminos is just a nightmare to drive through and will remain that way for some time to come. Other projects such as Torre Bicentenario never even got off the ground.

Other constructions have got started and look mighty impressive. The Baluarte bridge will be one of the world’s tallest when finished. And there are plenty of other skyscrapers and towers planned for cities around the country, primarily Mexico DF, Monterrey and Guadalajara. The latter having just opened a brand new football stadium with a game between Chivas and Manchester United.

But back to the roadworks project I mentioned. I watched a documentary on the construction of this second tier road quite some time back, which finished with a helicopter tour along the length of it. The scale is impressive, even if their ability to work to schedule is not…

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13 thoughts on “El Bicentenario Mañana

    • I can’t remember when I saw it. A good couple of years ago, I’m sure. The amount of concrete that went into making this road though – not one of Mexico City’s greener projects!

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  1. Dan in NC says:

    Gary, having lived in the SF Bay area during the ’89 Loma Prieta earthquake, just seeing the miles upon miles of this elevated roadway gave me a real case of the heebie-jeebies! I’ve been through most of California’s episodes of “rock & Roll” between ’60 and ’94. I can’t fathom why anyone would even consider – let alone build – an elevated roadway in one of the most active seismic zones in the world! Glad I don’t have to drive on it! Here in NC all we have to deal with is an occasional twister – and THOSE we CAN predict and prepare for!
    Cheers!
    Dan in NC

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    • Good point Dan, and something that was discussed at length about 8 or 9 years ago when a referendum was done over whether to build the thing or not. The elevated roadway has so far handled many smaller quakes (we get them all the time in Mexico City) and was apparently built with tremors in mind. Of course, it’ll take that one large quake to really see.

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      • I have my concerns. I can’t find the photo now, but I imagine most of you remember it – the collapsed ‘earthquake proof’ two tier highway in California from a quake they had a few years ago.

        My other concern would be the cutting corners and cheating that is endemic in Mexico. Including the construction industry. As Guy says though, time will tell. There’s a 7+ once a decade roughly, so we shouldn’t have to wait too long…

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  2. Kim G says:

    What a great video! And what a fabulous freeway. It’s nice to see a government that doesn’t do everything possible to make it difficult to drive, the modus operandi of the local government here in Boston.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where we are often stopped in traffic, generating useless smog instead of moving

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    • It is a pretty impressive construction. Although I have to say I’m probably of a different mindset to yourself when it comes to transport – I’m a big fan of public transit systems, be it metrobuses, metros, monorails, trains etc.

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      • When the referendum on the second level was held a choice was presented. Invest in that or in more public transit. All for naught in the end as a lot of money was also put into a new metro line, passenger rail service out to the burbs, and three metrobus lines, not to mention the ecobici scheme.

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  3. Dan in NC says:

    Gary,
    I think this is what you may have been referring to:

    Not a nice scenario – I lost one employee in this particular collapse..
    Dan in NC

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    • That’s the one. 1989? So long ago now. I’m getting old! Not a nice scenario at all. Belated condoloences.

      I do remember when that happened, and thinking to myself ‘What sort of effing idiot chooses to live on top of a seriously active fault line?’

      And here I am…. 🙂

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