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State authorities confirm construction of alternate route for year-old Playa del Carmen road crack

Playa del Carmen, Q.R. — The head of Fonatur says the highway fracture outside Playa del Carmen will take time to repair. Rogelio Jiménez Pons, head of the National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism (Fonatur) said that the fracture is a fault in excess of 200 meters.

The fracture was noticed in June of 2020 after a partial road collapse, and even though the Ministry of Communications and Transportation (SCT) has tried to make repairs, the road crack remains.

Complications arose when the caved in area, originally thought to be another sinkhole, turned out to be an aquatic cave. Personnel from the Círculo Espeleológico del Mayab clarified that the problem area is not a sinkhole, but an aquatic cave that is part of a complex network of underground rivers characteristic of the karst system of the Yucatan Peninsula.

The Yucatán Peninsula karst aquifer is one of the most extensive and spectacular karst aquifer systems on the planet. This transboundary aquifer system extends over an area of approximately 165,000 km2 in México, Guatemala and Belize, which means filling the cave in is not an option, said Roberto Rojo, director of the organization.

He says that perhaps a pilot system will be needed to repair the fault that extends for more than 200 meters toward the beach area.

Last week, Fonatur said that now that it has taken over the portion of the highway where the Maya Train will pass, they will take charge of making the highway repair.

Governor Carlos Joaquín González has confirmed that an alternative route is being prepared, which will be ready in less than two months.

“This will allow for an alternate road, a six kilometer route to return back on the main road…its construction is estimated to be ready in less than 60 days. In the meantime, we will have to be patient, pending so that during those 60 days, as Fonatur has offered, it can be finished and we can have this circulation option,” he said.