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Zaragoza Canal project stalled due to lack of resources

Chetumal, Q.R. — The rehabilitation of the Zaragoza Canal been temporarily suspended due to lack of resources. The Business Coordinating Council (CCE) of Chetumal made the announcement earlier this week.

Eloy Quintal Jiménez, president of the CCE of Chetumal said “there is a collaboration agreement between the federation and the government of Quintana Roo to provide resources and continue with the work, but there is a shortage of resources due to the impact of the pandemic.”

He explained that in the last meeting they had with navy representatives, who are in charge of the project, it was announced that the desoiling of the canal presented an advance of just 10 percent, added to the Environmental Impact Statement that has a deadline of three years, so if the delay in the project extends throughout this year, “it will hardly be possible to be finished before 2022”.

The fundamental projection of the Chetumal business community regarding the canal was to detonate nautical tourism via private vessels as well as the possibility of offering Caribbean Sea tours. The southern area currently lacks a point to dock.

The Zaragoza Canal is an artificial seaway of around 1.2 kilometers, which is used for passage between the Caribbean Sea and the Bay of Chetumal. Quintal Jiménez says that the canal project consists of increasing its depth by 3 meters and extending its length by 4.8 kilometers into the interior of Chetumal Bay to obtain a maritime passage. Once complete, the canal would be 6.3 kilometers in length.

The project was to also include a cargo terminal for large-scale commerce that currently passes through the Panama Canal to reach Chetumal. Work on the canal began in 2019, however, for several weeks, work has stopped due to the lack of contribution from the state government.