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Fonatur reports on section 5 progress days after judge orders definitive suspension

Riviera Maya, Q.R. — Days after a Merida judge ruled a definitive suspension on Section 5 of the Maya Train, federal and state authorities reported on its progress.

On Monday, the General Director of the National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism (Fonatur), Javier May Rodríguez said the 67.7 kilometers of track that will run from Playa del Carmen to Tulum will be unique.

During the morning Presidential press conference, May stated that the 67.7 kilometer section of the Maya Train goes from Playa del Carmen to Tulum is unique because more than 60 percent of the route will be an elevated viaduct. He says the viaduct will protect karstic soil, cenotes, caverns and underground rivers.

Along with Quintana Roo Governor María Lezama, May said that the section “stands out specifically for the cable-stayed bridge that will safeguard the Jaguar Claw cave”.

Section 5 south crosses two municipalities and six locations in the Riviera Maya where passengers can get on and off at the Playa del Carmen and Tulum stations. Of the total track, 25.6 kms are embankments and 42.1 kms are elevated viaducts that are built with state-of-the-art engineering, he said.

In addition, with the Program for the Improvement of Archaeological Zones (Promeza), the sites of Tulum and Muyil are intervened, and four new sites are being rescued and preserved.

The Garra de Jaguar cave, the Las Manitas cave where there are paintings, the Ocho Balas cave and the Paamul II archaeological complex.

“The protection of archaeological wealth goes hand-in-hand with environmental responsibility. For this reason, section 5 south also includes the opening of the Jaguar National Park, which will protect the flora and fauna, which is added to the reforestation of Sembrando Vida,” explained May.

He added that the nearly 6,000 jobs generated on section 5 south have mainly benefited the local population. Those jobs include the requirement of 1,484,000 cubic meters of ballast, 240,000 sleepers and 14,000 tons of rail.

In section 5 south, more than 50 complementary projects are being built, such as wildlife and vehicular crossings, as well as a tractor substation, which is part of the infrastructure to provide electrical sufficiency to the Maya Train and energy security to the Yucatan peninsula.

“Section 5 south will open doors to the human, natural and cultural greatness of the Mexican southeast,” he said.

The Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat), María Luisa Albores González, recalled that section 5 south has had the Environmental Impact Statement since June 2022, and emphasized on the creation of the Jaguar Flora and Fauna Protection Area, of almost 3,000 hectares in Tulum and the restructuring of the Tulum National Park.

The President and Executive Director of Mota-Engil Latin America, João Pedro Parreira, who is in charge of 27 kilometers of subsection A, said that work is being done on a mixed structure of viaducts and embankment that allows a very important permeability for flora and fauna without interaction with the geophysical environment of section 5 south in terms of soil, and explained that all inputs such as beams, pre-slabs and foundation piles are built on site.

The General Director of Azvindi Ferroviario, Manuel Muñozcano Castro, in charge of the 20.7 kilometers of subsection B, highlighted the construction of the Garra de Jaguar cable-stayed bridge, of 266 linear meters, to free a cavern that was found in the area and reported that 5,600 jobs have been created and more than 4,000 beams and more than 27,000 prefabricated tablets will be required, among other supplies.

The General Director of Empresas ICA, Guadalupe Phillips Margain, in charge of subsection C, reported that 19.97 kilometers of double railway track are being built here, including nine kilometers of viaduct, nine vehicular and wildlife crossings, as well as the Playa del Carmen station.

The Director of Alstom Mexico, Maite Ramos Gómez, specified that the Maya Train currently occupies two of the five lines of the plant in Ciudad Sahagún, Hidalgo, for the delivery of the first four boxes on March 8, and the arrival of the trains to the Cancun garage next July. She also highlighted that the bogie assembly is made with German technology, one hundred percent in Mexico.

During the section 5 Maya Train progress update, officials did not make any mention of the recent definitive suspension ruling made by a Merida judge.